By David F. Rooney
It’s a problem that Maura Dower is very familiar with — finding volunteers to help out at the Canadian Red Cross Medical Equipment Loan Depot.
“We’re in dire need,” said Dower, depot manager for the last six years. “Louise Burling was working with me but she has been sick since last autumn. Ideally, I’d like six volunteers.”
That number would make manning the depot, which is located in the old Big Eddy School, much easier. The depot is open three days a week and one evening — two hours each time, she said.
The depot provides those who need them with wheelchairs, walkers, canes, crutches and other pieces of medical medical equipment for a monthly fee. The rentals are short-term. The max is three months, but “extensions are possible depending on need and circumstances, Dower said.
Money is always in short supply and though the depot has managed to receive some significant donations from local businesses, clubs and the Columbia Basin Trust it operates on a shoe string.
“Ninety per cent of the money we received is used to purchase medical equipment,” Dower said. “We just put in for a pediatric wheelchair. But we’re always in need as things get worn out very quickly.”
The Red Cross is looking for a more central location and Dower hopes it can move to one of the two schools — Mount Begbie and Mountain View — that are slated for closure.
If you’d like to make a difference please call the depot at 250-814-0200 or call Maura Dower at 250-837-3738.