Donating unused senior living equipment
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The Savvy Senior
December 28, 2010 | 1,466 views | Post a comment
Dear Savvy Senior
Where are some good places to donate old senior living equipment? My father passed away a few months ago and left behind several canes, a wheelchair and walker, along with a box full of old glasses and two hearing aids.
Donating old, unused senior (or assistive) living equipment is a wonderful way to help those in need who can’t afford it, and in most cases it’s tax deductible too. Here are some good places to check into.
Local charities such as Easter Seals, United Way, American Red Cross, or the Muscular Dystrophy Association are all great options to check into, as well as Independent Living Centers (see http://www.ilru.org to find one near you) that help people with disabilities. Local hospital foundations, children’s hospitals, school districts, veterans service organizations, and even churches are also good places that often accept these types of donations. Or, you could donate to your local Goodwill store or Salvation Army.
One of the best places to donate old eyeglasses is to the Lions Club Recycle for Sight program. They collect nearly 30 million pairs of glasses each year and distribute them to people in need in developing countries. To donate, look for a Lion’s Club glasses donation drop-off box in your community. Call 1-800-747-4448 to get the number to your state Lions Club office, which can refer you to your community representative, or visit http://www.lionsclubs.org.
New Eyes for the Needy ( http://www.neweyesfortheneedy.org) is another good organization that collects unused eyeglasses and distributes them abroad to people in need.
To donate old hearing aids, hearing aid parts, or other assistive listening devices, check out Hear Now ( http://www.starkeyhearingfoundation.org/hear-now.php, 1-800-648-4327), a nonprofit program that’s part of the Starkey Hearing Foundation. They collect around 40,000 hearing aids each year, have them reconditioned, and resell them using the revenue to buy new hearing aids for people who can’t afford them. Hearing aids and other assistive hearing devices should be sent to: Hear Now, 6700 Washington Avenue South, Eden Prairie, MN 55344.
Another great place to donate is the Lions Club Hearing Aid Recycling Program. Old hearing aids should be mailed in to one of their 21 regional hearing aid recycling centers. Your state Lions Club (call 1-800-747-4448 to get the phone number) can give you the mailing address, or go to http://lionsclubs.org.
Other local service organizations that may accept hearing aid donations are Sertoma, Knights of Columbus, Masons, Kiwanis and Optimist clubs. There are also some states, cities, counties and even local groups that have collection programs. Contact your Area Aging Agency (call 1-800-677-1116 to get your local number) or the nearest Hearing Loss Association of America chapter (see http://www.hearingloss.org) to inquire.
Don’t forget that donations to nonprofits are tax-deductible, so when you drop off your donated item(s), be sure to ask for a receipt for your tax records. Or, if you’re mailing it in or are using one of the Lions Club drop-off boxes, you’ll need to include a note requesting a letter of acknowledgement of the donation. Your note should include your name and a brief description of what you donated, along with self-addressed stamped envelope.
Savvy Tips: If you have other assistive devices or daily living equipment you’d like to donate but can’t find a home for, contact your state assistive technologies director (see http://ataporg.org). They typically accept a wide variety of assistive living aids or may be able to refer you to groups or organizations that do. Or try http://www.usedhme.com, a free listing service website that lets you donate, sell or buy used home medical equipment.
Jim Miller is a contributor to the NBC “Today” show and author of The Savvy Senior book. Send your senior questions to: Savvy Senior, P.O. Box 5443, Norman, OK 73070, or visit http://SavvySenior.org .