ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. – Shortages of metals like aluminum have increased in price, forcing some people to look at alternatives for medical supplies.
Some, can not afford new equipment like crutches or wheelchairs to get around.
Mary Ann Motley is a senior citizen who loves to get around, on her own.
“I just use the big walker, if I want to go walking, I got a bad knee,” Motley said.
Motley has medical supplies in her home, like this piece that helps her get into bed and it was a major surprise getting a new walker.
“I could just fold that thing in, step on it rile it the front wheel and push it on in,” Motley said.
Robin Ramsey is the executive director of the Foundation for Rehabilitation Equipment and Endowment or FREE Foundation.
“We do everything from as small as a cane, to wheelchairs to different types of wheelchairs,” Ramsey said.
Ramsey helps people like Motley get medical supplies when they can’t afford them.
“We were able to step in and help the health systems here locally,” Ramsey said.
Last year, the FREE Foundation helped about 3000 people in need across the state.
Since the organization started in 1999, $10,000,000 in medical equipment was given to those whose insurance may not cover the cost.
“We are very proud of the work that we do, it’s not rocket science but it is people helping people we’re excited to be a part of it.”
These supplies were donated by the community and with the rising costs of aluminum, leaders of the organization realized it’s better to use refurbished medical equipment than buying new ones.
“Community donations were already here, they’re already in place , we were already prepared for people who needed them.”
If you would like to donate supplies or help volunteer with the organization, click here.