Donating your gently used walking cane can make a difference to someone who doesn’t have the means to buy one. I know that for my mother, I look long and hard to find the best deals on the medical equipment she needs. So if you have a walking cane in relatively good shape that you no longer have a use for, consider donating it to one of the numerous organizations or online platforms I have listed below.
Explore the following possibilities for donating your walking cane: 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 programs, faith-based organizations, local churches, online classified websites and social media platforms with marketplaces, as well as senior centers and veterans centers.
Contents Overview & Quicklinks
Donating walking canes and other used medical equipment to Assistive Technology Programs
Designed with federal grants, Assistive Technology Programs (AT Programs) are created to enhance accessibility within a state, particularly for individuals with a low income, disabilities, and the elderly to assistive technologies, including durable medical equipment.
If you would like to explore 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.
Click on your state to go to your AT program website
Donating walking canes to Refurbishment and Reuse Centers
Donating your walking cane to a medical equipment refurbishment or reuse center is another simple option. Both types of organization will typically have programs for the redistribution of their donated items to individuals in need.
In general, the equipment is given to individuals either for free, or for a very low fee.
Donating walking canes to Centers for Independent Living
You may also want to consider donating your walking cane to a Center for Independent Living, such centers will often run loan closets for the benefit of their 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 for your donation in your area, take a look on this website.
Donating walking canes to Medical Equipment Loan Closets
Medical equipment loan closets provide an excellent opportunity to donate new, or gently used, walking canes. Loan closets typically lend items of durable medical equipment to members of their “service area” community who need it, more often than not, seniors and individuals with disabilities. Donating to these closets means your contribution will typically be borrowed by others at no cost.
Loan closets can differ in size, some running large-scale operations managed by non-profit organizations serving an entire state, while other smaller endeavors may be led by a few committed local volunteers running the closet out of a garage.
To find medical equipment loan closets in your area, you can start doing some online searches, and or, by contacting the following places –
- I like to start by doing a search 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 my web browser in the order I have written them until I get a result
- if I don’t get a result from my online search I’ll try making inquiries with the county Area Agency on Aging – the agencies run services to assist people over the age of 60, their families and caregivers to gain access to the community services available to them – you can find your local agency with the agency locator tool here
- talk to your town, or city council, human resources or seniors department, and ask if they manage any medical loan closets for the local community, or are aware of other loan closets
- contact local reuse or medical equipment refurbishing centers near you – again you can just do a search for these on your search engine of choice
- Lions Clubs, Rotary Clubs and American Legion Posts sometimes run medical equipment loan closets in their local communities
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.
You can make inquiries at your local synagogue, or find them on the Chesed Match website.
Great Lakes Loan Closets
As an aside, if you live in Michigan, Wisconsin, Northern Indiana or Northern Illinois, you will have the opportunity to donate to the most comprehensive network of loan closets.
The network comprises several hundred loan closets set up by all sorts of faith based groups, churches, senior centers, and local councils, and 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
You will find the Great Lakes Loan Closet locator here – https://loanclosets.org/
National and International organizations which accept donations of walking canes
To donate your walking cane, 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 walking cane, 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 walking cane, 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 walking canes near you
What I like about posting donations on online listings and platforms, is that it allows you to donate to someone as locally as you want.
I will say, though, if you are caring for an elderly person at home, to ensure their privacy, avoid having individuals come directly to your home for the item pick-up. Arrange a meeting in a public place to donate your item.
If I am posting donations online, particularly on classified listings, I like to create a throwaway email address to prevent my personal email from being overwhelmed with spam. I use a separate email address specifically for donation purposes.
With posting items on Facebook, Nextdoor, Freecycle and OfferUp there is no way to avoid using your normal account, but you should not be having any problems with spam.
And very importantly, don’t forget to protect yourself by stating that the recipient of your donation is accepting it “as is”, and that you accept no liability if they have any problems or accidents when using it. You can write this in the description of the item in your posting.
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 walking canes in your neighborhood
For those of you who don’t want to donate your walking canes online, why not contact some of the following places in your area to see if they need walking canes –
- 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 walking canes
If you are out of luck with finding a place to take your donation, here are a few more organizations who may be able to tell you where you can donate your walking cane –
Area Agency On Aging
Area Agencies on Aging should know who is doing what in their area, and know of any programs, refurbishing centers or loan closets.
To locate an Area Agency on Aging in your area – click here.
Your local Social Services department may also know of any programs that are accepting donations of durable medical equipment, such as walking canes.
Two faith based charities with chapters all over the US doing offering multiple programs to those in need are –
The Catholic Charities
Society of St Vincent de Paul
If you contact them, they also may know of any loan closets, or individuals who would appreciate your donation.
You can find the contact information for the chapters of these charities, in your area, by typing the “name of the charity + where you live”, into the web browser of your choice.
Local Town Hall or Chamber of Commerce
Ask your Town Hall or Chamber of Commerce for a list of nonprofit organizations, charities and community groups refurbishing durable medical equipment in your area.
Reasons why your walking canes may not be accepted
If the items you wish to donate are a bit messed up, or defective in any way, you probably won’t find somewhere to accept them, except as spare parts.
Used medical equipment can need disinfecting and washing to avoid the spread of infection, and a lot of organizations are not equipped for this. Legally, they may not be allowed able to accept your used medical equipment donation.
Companies often won’t want to get involved in handling equipment which has lost its warranty, which is the case with all used equipment.
State laws governing the reuse of medical equipment may also be an issue, and what they are, will vary from state to state.
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.