Do you have any grab bars that are no longer needed ? You can donate these to those who cannot afford them, helping them to make their home a safer place to be.
You can choose to donate directly to individuals online, or to organizations that will effectively distribute your donation to those who need it.
This article comprises a straightforward list of places, organizations and online platforms where you can donate equipment, including all forms of bathroom safety equipment, such as grab bars.
Where to donate grab bars equipment ? You can donate grab bars 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 listing websites and social media platforms
Contents Overview & Quicklinks
Donating respiratory equipment and other used grab bars to Assistive Technology Programs
Assistive Technology Programs (AT Programs) are intended to heighten the accessibility to assistive technologies, such as durable medical equipment within a specific state, but with a particular focus on three key groups of state residents –
- for individuals with a low income
- individuals with disabilities
- the elderly
State AT Programs to increase access to equipment will typically have –
- equipment lending libraries
- online equipment exchanges
- demonstration centers
- reuse and refurbishing centers
Opting to donate your respiratory equipment to your state’s AT program means that you’re enabling it to have a broader reach than serving just a single person.
With the possibility of being lent to multiple users over time, the donation of your grab bar can have a lasting impact.
To find out more about the possibilities of donating to your State AT Program, click on your state in the lists below, and you will be taken to your state program website.
Donating grab bars to Refurbishment and Reuse Centers
Opting to donate your grab bars to a medical equipment refurbishment or reuse center is an excellent alternative.
Both types of organizations have programs in place to redistribute the items they receive, with a focus on individuals who are in need.
Typically, the equipment is provided to individuals either at no cost or for a modest fee – literally, sometimes only 10% of the cost of new items.
That is not to say that there aren’t medical equipment refurbishing centers that function as businesses rather than nonprofits, there are, but they frequently offer the equipment for sale at a very reasonable price.
You can also always ask whether their main focus is on making money, or if your grab bars will be donated to someone in need or sold at an affordable price.
Reuse centers generally take in and redistribute pre-owned equipment “as is,” without carrying out any refurbishment or similar processes on the items.
Donating grab bars to Centers for Independent Living
If your intention is to directly assist individuals with disabilities through your donation, I recommend considering a donation to a Center for Independent Living, since they…
“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
Center for Independent Livings (CILs) often maintain medical equipment loan closets to assist their members, so it’s worth inquiring whether they would welcome the donation of your grab bars.
To locate a center for your donation in your area, take a look on this website.
Donating grab bars to Medical Equipment Loan Closets
Medical equipment loan closets are a valuable community asset, offering yet another avenue to contribute new or gently used grab bars and make a positive contribution to your community.
In most cases, a medical equipment loan closet lends out durable medical equipment items, often at no cost, to individuals in their designated service area (community) who require it. This typically includes seniors and people with disabilities.
Every loan closet will have its specific terms and conditions, but in most cases, they will require a payment only as a deposit for larger items, such as patient lifts and hospital beds. This deposit is subsequently refunded when the item is returned.
Looking for a medical equipment loan closet ?
I frequently search with the following method in my articles, and it’s proven to be quite effective:
- I do 4 searches online to start – “medical equipment loan closet + your location”, “medical equipment lending closet + your location”, “medical equipment lending bank + your location”, or “medical equipment bank + your location” – I try each of these in my web browser in the order I have written them until I get a result
- if my searches don’t produce any leads, which is often the case, it’s time to contact the Area Agency on Aging. These agencies aid individuals aged 60 and older, as well as their families and caregivers, in finding and accessing the community services at their disposal – check for your county agency with the agency locator tool here
- talk to your town or city council, human resources, or seniors department. See if they administer a medical loan closet for the local community or are aware of other organizations which may do so
- do a follow-up search for medical equipment refurbishing centers and ask if they can provide information about loan closets in your vicinity
- Lions Clubs, Rotary Clubs, and American Legion Posts serve as additional excellent resources, often running medical equipment loan closets to benefit their local communities, so contact one near you and see what they have to say
To locate a Lions Club in your area, check out my article here – How To Find A Lions Club Near Me ? A Very Quick Illustrated Guide
To locate a Rotary Club in your area, check out my article here – How To Find A Rotary Club Near Me ? A Very Quick Illustrated Guide
Bikur Cholim or Medical Equipment Gemacht – these are Jewish medical equipment loan closets available to members of the Jewish community.
These loan closets will be very happy to receive any grab bars to help those in need in their community.
You can make inquiries at your local Jewish senior center, synagogue, or find them on the Chesed Match website.
National and International organizations which accept donations of grab bars
To donate your grab bars, locate a store near you and give them a call. You can do that with this link – https://www.goodwill.org/locator/
To donate your grab bars, click on the following link – https://satruck.org/
To locate your local affiliate, use this link – https://www.easterseals.com/connect-locally/
The Partnership for Quality Medical Donations
The website donating page is here – http://www.pqmd.org/pillars/donation-guidelines/
Donating is here – https://projectcure.org/donate-supplies-equipment
REMEDY – Recovered Medical Equipment for the developing World
To donate equipment to REMEDY, go to this web page – https://www.med-eq.org/Login/form.aspx?type=donate&quick=1
Advocates for World Health
Donating durable medical equipment is here – https://awhealth.org/donate-medical-equipment/
To donate, go here – https://www.esperanca.org/donate-supplies/
Got to the MedShare website to donate here – https://www.medshare.org/
HERO Healthcare Equipment Recycling Organization
You can find about donating on their website – https://www.herofargo.org/wp-content/uploads/IndividualSupplies.pdf
To donate your grab bars, 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 contact them 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 where you can donate grab bars near you
Donating online is what I prefer, be it through social media platforms or classified listings, if I don’t have a lot of time to do research, or don’t want to travel to hand over my donation. You get to select which neighborhoods your post/advertisement will be seen, allowing you to do it right on your doorstep.
Having said that, I would consider taking some of the following precautions when making an online donation –
- when describing your grab bars in the posting/advertisement, make sure to indicate that it’s being offered as a donation “as is,” and that you won’t be held responsible for any issues post-handover
- consider the safety and privacy of elderly household members; it’s best not to arrange for the donation recipient to come to your home for the pick-up
- I would select a public spot for the pick-up arrangement, and if you’re feeling apprehensive, consider having a friend accompany you
- avoid using your personal email on classified listing sites like Craigslist, as it can become inundated with spam
You can donate items on –
You will find my short illustrated guides on how to donate new, or used, medical, equipment on each of the following platforms –
OfferUp.com – No need for an article on this, as there is a very good video showing how to use OfferUp, see below.
Donating grab bars in your neighborhood
If you’re not inclined to do everything online, and prefer a door-to-door approach, your neighborhood might offer some of the following options
- Local Hospitals
- Emergency rooms
- Thrift stores
- Senior Centers or Elderly Day Care Centers
- Veterans Centers
- Retirement Homes
- Your local council Seniors’ Department – ask if they have a medical equipment loan closet
Organizations near you who may know where to donate grab bars
If you are still looking for advice on where to donate your grab bars, try a few of the following –
Area Agency On Aging
I have already mentioned it, but the Area Agency on Aging in your region is the starting point for anyone exploring services for individuals over the age of 60. Here, you’ll gather information on medical equipment loan closets frequently sought after by seniors.
To locate an Area Agency on Aging in your area – click here.
Next, consider talking with your Social Services department. They should have a thorough understanding of the various charities providing programs and services in your area, and may be able to assist you in identifying those that could be interested in your grab bars.
Looking at charities again, the Catholic Charities and the Society of St. Vincent de Paul are two of many charities which are actively involved in running programs across much of the US. They run programs and services for –
- low income families
- the homeless
- victims of abuse
Either charity will have a “chapter” running the programs and services in your area.
To find the chapters in your area, do an online search for “name of the charity + where you live”.
Local town hall or chamber of commerce
You can also visit your town hall and chamber of commerce to inquire about nonprofit organizations and charities involved in refurbishing and redistributing durable medical equipment in the area, and then get in touch with them.
Reasons why your grab bars may not be accepted
Here are some of the reasons why your grab bars isn’t being accepted –
- your grab bars could be deemed too old or not in suitable condition.
- used grab bars won’t have a valid warranty.
- State regulations regarding the reuse of safety equipment may play a role
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.