If you own gently used mobility equipment for which you no longer have a use, donating it can make a huge difference to a person who doesn’t have the means to buy it. I am always looking for the best deals for my mother on any durable medical equipment she may need.
You have the option to donate mobility equipment to a variety of organizations, or on online platforms, all of which I have listed here – State Assistive Technology Projects, state online equipment exchanges, reuse centers, community loan closets (state and local), bikur cholim, non-profit charities, thrift stores, medical equipment refurbishment projects, faith-based organizations, local churches, private individuals on classified websites and social media platforms with marketplaces, and senior centers and veterans centers.
Contents Overview & Quicklinks
Donating mobility equipment to State Assistive Technology Programs
State Assistive Technology Programs (AT Programs) are established through federal grants to promote accessibility within a state to assistive technology, in particular targeting those on low incomes, the disabled, and the elderly.
If you want to learn about donating your mobility equipment to your State AT Program, click on your state in the lists below, and it will take you your state program website.
Click on your state to go to your State AT Program website
Donating mobility equipment to Refurbishment and Reuse Centers
Medical equipment refurbishment and reuse centers take used equipment, sanitize it, fix it and the find a new home for it, typically with an individual who can not afford it otherwise.
Many of these centers across the US are non-profit organizations, and they work to keep the costs as low as possible, so that they can redistribute equipment for free or at as low of a cost as possible, making them a great option for your donation.
You can always ask if they will resell your equipment or gift it to someone.
Donating mobility equipment to Centers for Independent Living
Many Centers for Independent Living are another good option, as they usually maintain loan closets and will actively welcome donations of new or used durable medical equipment to support their disabled members.
“A Center for Independent Living are – Designed and operated by individuals with disabilities, Centers for Independent Living (CILs) 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
To locate a center, check this website.
Donating mobility equipment to Medical Equipment Loan Closets
If you can also consider donating your mobility equipment to medical equipment loan closets. These loan closets serve their local community by lending durable medical equipment to anyone who needs it.
Your donation will be made available for borrowing, and it is usually done so free of charge. Sometimes with larger, more costly equipment, a deposit is requested, which is returned to the user when they return the item.
The scale of medical equipment loan closets can vary greatly, from large-scale operations managed by non-profit organizations which will serve an entire state, or part of it, to modest setups run by a handful of dedicated local volunteers out of a small shack for their immediate community.
To locate the loan closets near you, start by doing some online searches to find a medical equipment loan closet near you, contacting the following places –
- I like to start by searching online for “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 the order I have listed them here
- if you don’t find anything with my internet search, you can contact the county Area Agency on Aging – these agencies run services to help the over 60s to access to the community services available to them – you can find your local agency with the locator tool here
- talk to your town, or city council, human resources or seniors department, and to see if they manage a medical loan closet for the local community, or know of other loan closets
- find and contact any local reuse or medical equipment refurbishing centers – again do a search for these on your search engine of choice
- Lions Clubs, Rotary Clubs and American Legion Posts may run medical equipment loan closets for members of their local communities, so find and talk with them
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 – (Jewish medical equipment loan closets) These are available to members of the Jewish community.
Talk to your local synagogue, or search here on the Chesed Match website.
Great Lakes Loan Closets
In Michigan, Wisconsin, Northern Indiana or Northern Illinois, there is a vast network of medical equipment loan closets. This network comprises several hundred loan closets, all of which have been kindly listed on one website.
“Loan closets typically have durable medical equipment (DME) such as wheelchairs, shower chairs, bedside commodes, walkers, crutches, canes, and high-rise toilet seats. Some may also have hospital beds or electric wheelchairs available. Each loan closet is unique, with its own set of eligibility requirements, equipment, and loan period.” – Source – the Great Lakes Loan Closets website
If you live in one of the areas listed above, you can find a loan closet to donate your mobility equipment to here – https://loanclosets.org/
National and International organizations which accept donations of mobility equipment
To donate your mobility equipment, locate a store near you and give them a call – https://www.goodwill.org/locator/
To donate your mobility equipment, click on the following link – https://satruck.org/
To locate your local affiliate to make your donation, use this link – https://www.easterseals.com/connect-locally/
The Partnership for Quality Medical Donations
Their website donating page is here – http://www.pqmd.org/pillars/donation-guidelines/
Their page for donating is here – https://projectcure.org/donate-supplies-equipment
REMEDY – Recovered Medical Equipment for the developing World
To donate equipment 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 mobility 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 mobility equipment, 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 a mobility equipment near you
Donating on online listings and social media platforms allow you to donate to people as locally as you want – you are able to set the size of the area within which your advertisement is seen.
You need to be aware of a few things when doing this –
- if you are caring for an elderly person at home, to ensure their privacy, don’t have individuals come directly to your home for the pick-up
- arrange a meeting in a public place to donate your item – a mall or a car park
- for larger and more valuable items like a scooter or patient lift, you can have it delivered to the recipient at their cost – they will still be making a huge saving
- if you are posting donations on classified listings, you will want to create a throwaway email address to prevent your personal email from being drowned in spam
- donating items on Facebook, Nextdoor, Freecycle and OfferUp, you shouldn’t be having any problems with spam, but for equipment pick-ups etc, you still want to be careful if you have an elderly person in your home
- you need to state that you are donating your item “as is”, and that you accept no liability if the new user has any sort of accident, or problem, with the equipment – write this in the description of your item in your posting
Sites where you can donate items –
If you don’t know how to donate an item on the platforms I just listed, I have short illustrated guides on how to donate new, or used, medical, equipment 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 mobility equipment in your neighborhood
If you just don’t want to do any of this online, here are a few places you can go visit to see if they want your donation –
- Local Hospitals
- Emergency rooms
- Thrift stores – call first to check, though, as some not all do sell medical equipment
- 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 mobility equipment
If you still haven’t found anywhere near you to donate to, here are a few organizations who may be able to tell you where to offer your equipment –
Area Agency On Aging
Area Agencies on Aging deal with helping the elderly gain access to services which are available to them in their community, and as such should have the greatest amount of knowledge for you to tap into.
Use this link to find your Area Agency on Aging – click here.
Your Social Services department should know of any programs that need durable medical equipment.
A number of large faith-based charities run multiple programs for individuals in need, across the whole of the US.
The Catholic Charities and Society of St Vincent de Paul have chapters all over the US offering services to the homeless, refugees, victims of abuse and more, and they also may know of any loan closets, or individuals who would appreciate your donation.
You can find them in your area by searching for “name of the charity + where you live”, in the web browser of your choice.
Local Town Hall or Chamber of Commerce
Your Town Hall or Chamber of Commerce have information on all the nonprofit organizations, charities and community groups who are refurbishing durable medical equipment in your area.
Reasons why your mobility equipment may not be accepted
Here are a few of the reasons why your mobility equipment donation isn’t being accepted –
- people may think it is too old or a bit too roughed up
- most used mobility equipment will need to be sanitized and a lot of organizations are not equipped for this
- companies may not want to handle used durable medical equipment, as it has no warranty
- some state laws governing the reuse of medical equipment don’t allow for certain items to be reused
Remember that when you are donating your mobility equipment person to person through an online platform, you need to state that you are donating it “as is”, and that you accept no liability if the new user has any sort of accident or problem with the 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.