Written by Ryan Charles Parker / Photo: The Lending Cupboard
There are two groups of people that directly benefit from the tremendous work The Lending Cupboard does on a daily basis: those with health issues and everybody else.
Why is this so? Because of a very simple reason. There are people who get injured and need medical equipment and The Lending Cupboard loans this equipment out to them at no cost.
The benefit is two-fold. Executive Director Dawna Morey commented on the situation that would be the case for the injured if The Lending Cupboard did not provide the service they do. “It would put them at risk to having to re-enter the medical system at a higher cost to everyone in Alberta.”
So, even for those who have never heard of The Lending Cupboard, it is good for their welfare. It is a win-win situation.
They also allow people to use the equipment for as long as they need it, and return it at their leisure when they no longer require it. If the equipment is no longer in good shape, the Lending Cupboard recycles the components. As Morey puts it, “...when that equipment is no longer of high quality, because we have quite high standards, then we actually take the equipment apart and recycle the plastics and the metal.”
Another of the admirable qualities of the organization is that it employs many volunteers in order to run their operation. In fact, The Lending Cupboard received help for over 11,000 hours of work last year from over 70 volunteers. In fact, when you go to their location, you are greeted and helped by volunteers.
“Volunteers have always been the backbone of the organization,” explains Morey. “When you come into our organization, it’s actually the volunteers that are serving you when you are looking for equipment.”
Volunteers are also the ones who take care of cleaning, sanitizing and any necessary repair work on returned equipment before it is put back out to be used again.
The amount of help that this organization gives is staggering. They have served over 10,000 people this year. That is just a number. Just think of what that number represents. That is a town’s population worth of help to those who may have not had the means to get the equipment for themselves, at no cost. These could be people that may have had monetary trouble in purchasing the medical equipment they so desperately need. And one would have to think that The Lending Cupboard will be serving thousands more like them in the future.
All told, this organization is inspirational and wonderful, and we should be so grateful for their existence. Because life is unpredictable, and it is not out of the realm of possibility that we could get injured and need medical equipment in the future, distant or not. And if we do, The Lending Cupboard will be there to help.
As Morey puts it, “We think it is a cost-effective as well as a compassionate way to support central Alberta.”
It would be hard to find someone who would disagree.