'Closets' offer cost-free medical equipment
Most everyone keeps Band-Aids and aspirin in medicine cabinets, but where can you get a wheelchair, crutches, or a commode on short notice?
Josie’s Closet in Goessel and the newly opened Dee’s Medical Closet Etc. in Tampa provide a solution.
Both closets collect mobility aids and miscellaneous medical equipment. While vital for disabled persons (temporarily or otherwise), equipment usually is costly and may be used only for a short amount of time — then left in a closet or shed to collect cobwebs.
The closets take donations of new or gently used equipment to lend to community members at no cost.
Nancy Stucky, one of the founders of Josie’s Closet, started the closet after her mother, Josephine, died in 2019 and left her physical aids behind.
“It adds up when you need it, especially for limited use after a surgery,” Stucky said. “We had equipment that she had used, and we thought it would have been nice if it could have been used.”
Josie’s Closet holds 80 items, 30 of which were lent out at time of writing, in a spare room at Goessel Church. Money has been raised to buy more equipment, such as high-demand tub transfer chairs, over the year the closet has been open.
“Sometimes, I have got calls that say, ‘My family member is going to be dismissed this afternoon. Do you have such-and-such’?” Stucky said. “And I have been able to help them.”
Dee’s Medical Closet Etc. provides the same service. Established in memory of Tampa community member Dolores “Dee” Duggan, the closet operates out of Tampa Hair Salon and has been lending equipment to Tampa residents even before its official opening.
Before Duggan’s daughters and granddaughter cut the ribbon Sunday to officially open the closet, Connie McMahan, a Tampa Sunflower Senior Citizens member and longtime friend of Duggan, gave a short speech.
“Tampa was blessed to have Dee as a major part of the community,” McMahan said. “She was one of the first to raise her hand to help the community in any way she could.”
Last modified Dec. 9, 2021