Do you have any “gently used” medical braces which you no longer need ? You could make a real impact on the life of others by donating your medical braces to those who can’t afford to purchase such equipment themselves.
You can donate person to person online, or to organizations who will redistribute your donation in your place.
This is a straightforward guide on how and where to donate medical braces, and I hope it motivates you to do so.
Where to donate medical braces ? A gently used back brace can be donated to –
- State Assistive Technology Projects
- online equipment exchanges
- reuse centers
- community medical equipment loan closets 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 a medical brace to State Assistive Technology Programs
State Assistive Technology Programs (AT Programs) – will be happy to receive donations of medical braces.
Your state AT program’s mission is to boost the public’s access to assistive technology devices and medical equipment, with it’s prime demographic being the elderly, low income families and individuals with disabilities.
AT Programs will have networks of –
- equipment lending libraries
- equipment exchanges
- demonstration centers
- reuse and refurbishing centers
Once donated, your medical brace is destined to be loaned out, again and again, to those individuals who use your particular state AT Program to gain access to the equipment they need, and which they cannot afford to purchase.
If you wish to learn more about donating your equipment 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 a medical brace to Refurbishment and Reuse Centers
If you don’t want to have to find the person you are donating your brace to, you can donate to a medical equipment refurbishment center or to a reuse center, and they will find someone who needs your brace.
A medical equipment refurbishment center will typically take your medical brace, perform any work on it which is required, sanitize it, and then find a new owner for it.
At reuse centers, the equipment is simply redistributed, and typically it is just passed on “as is”.
Medical equipment refurbishing centers and reuse centers will generally redistribute your donation, for as low a price as possible, so that people with few means can afford to buy it.
In some cases, they may give it to the new user for free. This just depends on the policies and the goals of the individual center that you choose to donate to.
Donating a medical brace to a Center for Independent Living (CIL)
If you want to support disabled individuals with your donation, here’s one of the best places you can do that.
CILs assist disabled individuals to live independently within the community.
Centers for Independent Living
“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.”
I would contact the Center for Independent Living in your area, to see if they have a loan closet for their members, and if they would appreciate your donation
To find and contact the nearest CIL to you, go to this website.
Donating a medical brace to community medical equipment loan closets
If you like the idea of many people benefiting over time from your medical brace, my next tip is going to be community medical equipment loan closets.
These are a community resource serving residents in their area, allowing them to borrow durable medical equipment from a stock they have built up, usually from donations, and in particular benefitting seniors and individuals with disabilities.
With a loan closet donation, you know that your brace will pass through multiple pairs of hands over its lifetime, hopefully benefitting many individuals.
Some community loan closets may lend to all members of their community, while others may serve individuals in need first, and some may only make loans to those who qualify on a needs basis. It all depends on the individual loan closets and what policies they have chosen to follow.
How to locate a loan closet near you ? –
I have been searching out loan closets regularly for some time, and I find the following methods to be the best –
- Initially, I try 4 online searches with the following search 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 these online searches didn’t get any results, the next step is to contact your county’s Area Agency on Aging. This is the agency in your county charged with assisting the over 60s in finding out about the services available to them in the community. They should know all the loan closets in the area. With the locator tool, you will be able to find your county agency here
- if the previous step didn’t work either, I would talk with your local human resources or seniors department. They very often run a community loan closet with the help of community volunteers for seniors in the area
- another option is to go look up medical equipment refurbishing centers and reuse centers, which I spoke of earlier, and see if they can be of help
- Lions Clubs, Rotary Clubs and American Legion Posts – I would get in touch with these charities, as very often all three run community loan closets in smaller communities. I suggest you find a club, or post, make a few inquiries 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)
These are run by, and for, the Jewish community.
To find one, you can ask at the local Jewish community center, synagogue, or search online at the Chesed Match website.
National and International organizations which accept donations of a medical brace
To donate your medical brace, locate a store near you and give them a call – https://www.goodwill.org/locator/
To donate your medical brace, click on the following link – https://satruck.org/
To locate your local affiliate to make your medical brace donation, use this link – https://www.easterseals.com/connect-locally/
The Partnership for Quality Medical Donations
Their website page for donating a medical brace is here – http://www.pqmd.org/pillars/donation-guidelines/
Their website page for donating your medical brace is here – https://projectcure.org/donate-supplies-equipment
REMEDY – Recovered Medical Equipment for the developing World
To donate your medical brace 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 medical brace is here – https://awhealth.org/donate-medical-equipment/
To donate your medical brace, go here – https://www.esperanca.org/donate-supplies/
Got to the MedShare website to donate your medical brace here – https://www.medshare.org/
HERO Healthcare Equipment Recycling Organization
You can find about donating your medical brace on their website here – https://www.herofargo.org/wp-content/uploads/IndividualSupplies.pdf
To donate your medical brace, 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 medical brace 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 a medical brace near you
Donating online is my favored method, either on social media platforms, or on a classified listing.
If you want to donate to people in specific areas, and very close to home, this method is perfect. You get to select the exact area within which your advertisement/posting is visible. This way I know I am not going to have to travel with my donation.
It’s important to maybe take some of the following precautions when making an online donation –
- in the posting/advertisement description of your medical brace, you need to say that it is offered as a donation “as is,” and you will not be held liable for any problems after the hand-over
- don’t have the person who is accepting your donation come to your home to pick it up if you have an elderly person at home, respect their safety and privacy
- arrange to have the pick-up in a public place, and if you feel vulnerable, take another person along with you
- never use your main personal email on classified listing sites, such as Craigslist, it will get drowned in spam – create an email address just for your ad
Online platforms where you can donate medical braces –
If you have not used the sites above to donate an item, you may want to check out my short illustrated guides on how to donate new, or used, devices on each one –
OfferUp.com – No need for an article on this, as there is a very good video showing how to use OfferUp, see below.
Donating a medical brace in your neighborhood
Maybe you don’t want to do all of this online ? If prefer going door to door with your donation, your neighborhood should offer some of the following possibilities –
- Local Hospitals
- Emergency rooms
- Thrift stores
- Senior Centers or Elderly Day Care Centers
- Veterans Centers
- Local Retirement Homes
- Your local council Seniors’ department
Asking organizations near you where to donate a medical brace
For more advice on somewhere to donate your medical brace in your area, I would talk to –
Area Agency On Aging
Your Area Agency on Aging should be the first place you go to find out about the services in your community for the over 60s. There you will find all the information on medical equipment loan closets and durable medical equipment that seniors will be looking for.
There is an Area Agency on Aging locator tool – here.
Next, I would think about talking with your Social Services department, as they be well-acquainted with all the charities running programs and services, and may be able to tell you which of these may be interested in your medical brace.
Looking at charities again, the Catholic Charities and the Society of St. Vincent de Paul are two of many charities running programs across much of the US.
They are active in running programs and service for –
- low-income families
- the homeless
- victims of abuse
Both charities have local chapters from which they run the programs in their area, and if they don’t have a need for your medical brace, they may well know a person or an organization who does, so I’d talk to them as well.
To find the chapters in your area, search “name of the charity + where you live”, on the internet.
Local Town Hall or Chamber of Commerce
At your town hall and chamber of commerce, you can ask for information on nonprofit organizations and charities involved in refurbishing and redistributing durable medical equipment in your area, and then get in touch with them.
Why isn’t your medical brace being accepted ?
You may be surprised to find that quite a few places don’t want your donation. Here are a few of the possible reason why –
- your medical brace is may be too old or not in good enough condition
- a used medical brace will usually need to be sanitized, and not everyone can do that
- used medical braces don’t have a valid warranty
- state laws governing the reuse of medical equipment
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.