Donating your gently used durable medical equipment is an act of generosity, and helps someone who may be unable to help themselves. The more people who donate equipment like you, the greater the impact that charitable programs can have in helping those in need.
I know that the costs of the different items when looking after my elderly parents can add up really quickly, and some people just can’t pay that. So, I hope this article helps you find a new home for your used equipment.
This is a guide to the different places that typically accept donations of items such as electric ice packs, or ice machines, as they are sometimes called, how to contact these places, or if you prefer, how to give person to person using online websites.
Where to donate electric ice packs ? Gently used electric ice packs can be donated to –
- State Assistive Technology Projects
- state online equipment exchanges
- reuse centers
- community loan closets (state and local) and bikur cholim
- non-profit charities
- thrift stores
- medical equipment refurbishment projects
- faith-based organizations
- local churches
- senior centers
- veterans centers
- private individuals on classified websites and social media platforms
Contents Overview & Quicklinks
Donating electric ice packs to State Assistive Technology Programs
State Assistive Technology Programs (AT Programs) – provide an opportunity for you to donate your electric ice pack into a program where it will be reused again and again.
State AT programs have been designed in such a way as to increase access, for state residents, to assistive technology devices. This includes items of durable medical equipment.
Your state AT program will normally consist of a network of –
- equipment lending libraries
- demonstration centers
- a network of reuse centers and refurbishing centers
- and may also have an online exchange site
which coordinate together to give the public access to assistive technology devices.
If you donate your electric ice pack to the state AT program, it will be added to the stock of equipment to be loaned to those individuals in need, who use your state AT program to find their equipment.
To find out about how to donate to your State AT Program, click on your state in the list below.
Click on your state to go to your State AT Program website
Donating your electric ice pack to Refurbishment or Reuse Centers
Medical equipment refurbishment centers and reuse centers represent another worthwhile opportunity to donate your electric ice pack to those who are unable to afford new equipment.
Medical equipment refurbishment centers will gladly take your trapeze bar, do any required maintenance, and find it a new home. Typically, these are non-profit organizations, and they will redistribute to someone who has a low income, no health insurance, or an elderly person in need at as low a cost as possible, or even for free.
Reuse centers will work to redistribute the equipment as well, but they do not necessarily do any work or sanitizing on the equipment, and again very often redistribute to people in need, at a low cost or for free.
You can ask the center you choose, if your donation would be sold or gifted, if this is important to you.
To find a center near you, just do an online search for “medical equipment refurbishing centers” or “reuse centers” near you.
Donating electric ice packs to Centers for Independent Living
Centers for Independent Living (CIL) assist disabled individuals to maintain their independence in the community –
“provide independent living services for people with disabilities. CILs are at the core of ACL’s independent living programs, which work to support community living and independence for people with disabilities across the nation based on the belief that all people can live with dignity, make their own choices, and participate fully in society. These programs provide tools, resources, and supports for integrating people with disabilities fully into their communities to promote equal opportunities, self-determination, and respect.”
Source : https://acl.gov/programs/aging-and-disability-networks/centers-independent-living
Centers for Independent Living often have loan closets stocked with equipment that they use to support their members. If you wish to donate in particular to individuals with disabilities, I would give your nearest center a call and see if they have a need for electric ice packs.
Check for the center closest to you here – website.
Donating electric ice packs to community Medical Equipment Loan Closets
My next suggestion for a home for your donation is medical equipment loan closets.
These are a community resource, which permits residents within its service area to borrow durable medical equipment.
Loan closets often play a key role in getting durable medical equipment out to low income families, but also typically seniors and individuals with disabilities.
On the whole, your electric ice pack will be loaned out for free, while on occasion larger, and with more valuable items, such as a patient lift, loan closets may request a deposit.
Loan closets may be large or small, but more often than not, they are small community affairs run by a team of dedicated volunteers.
How to find loan closets in your neighborhood ?
I always begin by doing a few online searches. If that work for you, you can try contacting a few key places –
- I enter the following terms “medical equipment loan closet + your location”, “medical equipment lending closet + your location”, “medical equipment lending bank + your location”, or “medical equipment bank + your location”
- if you can’t find any loan closets with an online search, I’d next contact your county Area Agency on Aging and see if they are aware of any DME loan closets – this locator tool will find your county agency – here
- if the Area Agency on Aging couldn’t provide what you were looking for, don’t hesitate to contact your local human resources or seniors department, to see if they have any information on loan closets that might be helpful.
- find out about your local reuse or medical equipment refurbishing centers, and don’t hesitate to reach out to them for information – again you can easily find these centers by searching online
- Lions Clubs, Rotary Clubs and American Legion Posts – I’ve found numerous small community medical equipment loan closets are operated by these three organizations. I would find the ones located near you and make further inquiries about loan closets with them
To find Lions Clubs in your area, take a quick look at my guide here – How To Find A Lions Club Near Me ? A Very Quick Illustrated Guide
To find Rotary Clubs in your area, take a quick look at my guide here – How To Find A Rotary Club Near Me ? A Very Quick Illustrated Guide
Bikur Cholim or Medical Equipment Gemacht – (Jewish medical equipment loan closets)
Run for, and by, members of the Jewish community, they too will always be very happy to receive gifts of all kinds of durable medical equipment, including electric ice packs.
You make inquiries at your local synagogue, Jewish community center, or search on the Chesed Match website.
National and International organizations which accept donations of electric ice packs
To donate your electric ice pack, locate a store near you and give them a call – https://www.goodwill.org/locator/
To donate your electric ice packs, click on the following link – https://satruck.org/
To locate your local affiliate to make your electric ice packs donation, use this link – https://www.easterseals.com/connect-locally/
The Partnership for Quality Medical Donations
Their website page for donating electric ice packs is here – http://www.pqmd.org/pillars/donation-guidelines/
Their website page for donating your electric ice packs is here – https://projectcure.org/donate-supplies-equipment
REMEDY – Recovered Medical Equipment for the developing World
To donate your electric ice pack to REMEDY, use this web page here – https://www.med-eq.org/Login/form.aspx?type=donate&quick=1
Advocates for World Health
The page for donating your electric ice pack is here – https://awhealth.org/donate-medical-equipment/
To donate your electric ice pack, go here – https://www.esperanca.org/donate-supplies/
Go to the MedShare website to donate your electric ice pack here – https://www.medshare.org/
HERO Healthcare Equipment Recycling Organization
You can find about donating your electric ice pack on their website here – https://www.herofargo.org/wp-content/uploads/IndividualSupplies.pdf
To donate your electric ice pack, go to this website page – https://www.globallinks.org/our-work/programs/medical-surplus-recovery-program/individual-and-community-surplus-recovery
Global Mobility USA
You can donate your electric ice pack at this web address – http://www.globalmobilityusa.org/equipment-and-in-kind-donations
This is the donation page on their website – http://www.medicalbridges.org/donate/medical-supplies-and-equipment
Online listing sites and other social media platforms where you can donate electric ice packs near you
For me, this is the most practical way to donate an item online, since it allows you to donate to recipients in your preferred local areas. You have the control to decide where your donation advertisement or posting will be visible.
Here, though, are a few precautions worth considering when donating online –
- in your posting/advertisement, state that your electric ice pack is being donated “as is”, and that you will not accept any liability for any problems once it is handed over
- the safety and well-being of any elderly individuals in your home should come first, along with respecting their privacy, and having strangers come into your home for the item pick-up may not be advisable, as it may pose safety risks and create confusion for older people
- I would hand over your electric ice pack in a public, and if you feel at all vulnerable have a friend go with you
- when using online classified listings like Craigslist, avoid using your personal email address, instead, opt for a throwaway email address to prevent spam from inundating your personal email
Here’s a list of the online platforms on which you can donate equipment to others for free –
If you’ve never donated an item on one of these sites, I have short illustrated guides on how to donate new, or used, devices on each one –
OfferUp.com – There is already a very good video showing how to use OfferUp, see below.
Donating electric ice packs in your neighborhood
You may not want to do all of this online, and just prefer to go door to door with your donation. If that’s the case, there are a variety of good options which might be in your neighborhood-
- Local Hospitals
- Emergency rooms
- Thrift stores
- Senior Centers or Elderly Day Care Centers
- Veterans Centers
- Local Retirement Homes
- Your local council Seniors’ department
Organizations near you who may know where to donate an electric ice pack
If you want more advice on where to donate your electric ice pack, I would talk with the organizations below-
Area Agency On Aging
Your Area Agency on Aging is going to be the number one place to get advice about what services are available to seniors, and very often loan closets are one of the services that seniors will rely on.
To find the Area Agency on Aging in your county, use this link to the locator tool – click here.
Contact your Social Services department, as they are likely to be familiar with the programs run by charitable organizations to assist those in need, including loan closets in your area.
The Catholic Charities and Society of St Vincent de Paul
Across the US, the Catholic Charities and the Society of St Vincent de Paul are actively involved in running programs for low-income families, the homeless, refugees, and victims of abuse.
Both organizations will be familiar with what is happening in your vicinity, what is needed, and who may best appreciate your donation of an electric ice pack.
To find the chapter responsible for services in your area, of either one of the two organizations, do an online search for”name of the charity + where you live”.
Local Town Hall or Chamber of Commerce
Lastly, I would recommend that you visit your town hall and chamber of commerce, to inquire about nonprofit organizations and charities, in their administrative area, that refurbish and redistribute durable medical equipment.
Why isn’t your electric ice pack donation being accepted ?
On occasion, your donation is going to be rejected, and it may be for one of the following reasons –
- it may be too beat up or old
- it may need to be sanitized, and not everyone is equipped for this
- used electric ice packs will no longer carry a warranty
- state laws
Tax deductions on donations
Keep your receipt for any donations that you make to any charities, if you are hoping to get a tax deduction – the IRS will require the receipt for the item.
I’m Gareth, the author and owner of Looking After Mom and Dad.com
I have been a caregiver for over 10 yrs and share all my tips here.