The Lending Cupboard, a charitable organization that provides medical mobility equipment to those in need, is moving to a location in the city’s north end and have recently started their capital campaign to raise the funds necessary to the costs of their relocation
To cover the cost of renovations, a new delivery van and some added operating costs, The Lending Cupboard is looking to raise $500,000 by the end of 2018 — preferably by Aug. 1st when their lease is up at their current location on 43rd Street.
Dawna Morey, Lending Cupboard executive director, is encouraged by the talks she has had with the community and believes they will be able to raise the necessary capital.
“We think when the word gets out that the community will come alongside and help us out with this,” she said. “When we are talking about fiscal responsibility, I think we have demonstrated in the 12 years we have existed that we have been able to take those dollars and stretch them to make them serve our needs.”
A third of the cost will hopefully come from a government grant the Lending Cupboard applied for, however the board will not hear about the grant until July, meaning it is important to start their capital campaign now to raise as much as possible.
“There will be some increased costs and some may hit us that we haven’t counted on, so having a little cushion is good. As the organization has grown, we have added efficiencies so that we can maintain where our equipment is to make sure that it is in good quality for the clients to use. That comes at a cost,” she said.
The new facility will be 6,200 sq. ft., up from 4500 sq. ft. at their current location. This added space will allow The Lending Cupboard to serve their unique clientele more thoroughly.
Morey said The Lending Cupboard serves a gap which is not covered by Alberta Health Services.
“A client will arrive at the Lending Cupboard and our volunteers will take them through a registration where they register their needs,” she said. “In some cases, they do not need a requisition — only in our specialized equipment would we require something from a health professional because we want to ensure they are getting the proper training on how to use it.
“They are fitted for say a wheel chair, crutches or a bath bench they may need depending on the orientation of their tub. Once the equipment is given to them, there is no cost or rental fee. There is only a processing fee to get them into our system, which is a $10 one-time fee. From there, we call every three months to see how they are making out with the equipment.”
The Lending Cupboard staff and volunteers also assist clients, 65 per cent of which are seniors, in applying for government subsidized equipment – however this can often be a long process.
“They can’t wait nine months to get the equipment so they use the equipment from the Lending Cupboard in the interim. We don’t want to see anyone go without equipment whatsoever,” she said.
The Lending Cupboard, which has served 9,600 clients last year, has also shared their framework with other communities including Wetaskawin — which has served 1,000 clients in their region.
Bradley Williams, Lending Cupboard Board vice chair, said it is important for the Lending Cupboard to keep helping clients who need equipment, and raising this capital is key to serving that need.
“We are very confident the community will step forward and be a part of this. The community has been awesome to us and we have every reason to believe that will continue,” he said, adding that providing mobility to people in their homes means they are often able to stay in their own communities.
“With the equipment that the Lending Cupboard lends out, we are able to provide those people an opportunity to stay in their homes. They are not forced to move to another centre. We are able to provide them with things that they need that are otherwise very expensive to buy or rent on a long-term basis. It is a much needed community requirement,” he said.
If you would like more information on how you can support the Lending Cupboard, you can visit lendingcupboard.ca/.
Morey added that contracted work and volunteer hours are also ways people can support their initiative.