Knights kill high prices for medical equipment

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These knights wear jeans and t-shirts instead of shiny armor, but they are heroes for those in need nonetheless.

When faced with an urgent medical need, you don’t have time to shop around.

• An electric wheelchair costs $ 650 to $ 4,000.

• Hospital beds cost from $ 1,800 to $ 14,000.

• Even a walker costs $ 30 to $ 200.

To help people who desperately need it, the Knights of Columbus has their KC HELP program. Best of all, free.

KC HELP stands for Knights Community Hospital Equipment Loan Program. It was launched in the Tri Cities in 1996. The KofC that started the program saw the need for medical equipment for those who could not afford to rent or buy it, whether they had it or not. an insurance. People started donating items, and the program grew so quickly that it needed more volunteers and became a 501 (c) 3 charity.

Larry Devlin got wind of it and started one at Bainbridge Island-Poulsbo-Kingston in 2017. Devlin, who has been on BI since 1979, said: “I thought I better do it here.” After I retired from Bechtel Corp. “I had to do something.”

It has been a godsend for many, especially the elderly. With four months to go, the program saved customers $ 211,440, more than last year, which was the best yet.

Devlin said that while many charities have started to withdraw aid due to COVID-19, their efforts have resumed. “We have become an essential service,” he said. After a minimum of 13 calls in April 2020, the organization received 206 calls for help last month. Its KC HELP group serves all of western Washington, but primarily the Kitsap Peninsula.

“The equipment comes and goes like wildfire,” Devlin said.

Already loaned this year: 136 walkers, 87 wheelchairs, 74 bath benches, 53 dressers, 48 ​​bed rails and 43 beds, as well as many other items. Devlin said his group needed donations of equipment (especially manual wheelchairs), money and volunteers, who clean, sterilize, repair and distribute donated equipment, among other things. You don’t have to be involved with KofC to be a part of it.

“You wouldn’t believe how many people have no one to help them,” he said, adding that the supplies must pass the “dignity test” before they go out. “Would you let your mother or your grandmother use this?” ”

The supplies, which include Depends and a medical grab bar sometimes teasingly referred to as a “stripper pole,” aren’t just for seniors. Anyone who needs it can get it. “We’re not asking any questions,” Devlin said. Of course, he prefers that people can buy what they need from their warehouse near the Agate Pass bridge, “because gas is so expensive.” But they also deliver items and can set up equipment if needed. Their brochure says that if you have insurance, use it to get the items you can, and KC HELP can fill in the gaps. This allows their donations to go further.

People can keep the items for as long as they need, but this is a loaner program, so they hope the items will be returned. “We’re getting a pretty good response on this,” Devlin said, adding, but “we’re not going to hunt them down.”

He said most equipment donations do not come from companies but from individuals who clean their garages. Volunteers fix what they can, but parts can be expensive. Volunteer Anthony Farrell said some people try to take too much, so he will tell them they can’t furnish their homes.

Devlin’s group was featured in KofC magazine “Columbia” for helping a 27-year-old Seattle woman who was homebound obtain a motorized wheelchair, hospital bed and special mattress, as well as a shower chair not covered by his insurance.

“I have never been in contact with people who were so genuinely caring. It just restored my faith in humanity, ”Tiarra said.

Devlin added, “You really feel like making a difference in someone’s life. You can’t imagine the kind of hardships they are going through.

He said even though people have insurance it can take a long time and people “at a low point in their lives” need help now. KC HELP can fill this gap.

“They don’t have time to wait. They are scrambling and can be charged full price “by those who want to take advantage of it, Devlin said.

He added that they did not deserve to be harassed.

“We don’t want to be part of the problem. We want to be part of the solution, ”he said.

The basics

HELP KC – Kitsap Peninsula

Address: PO Box 1951, Poulsbo, WA 98370.

Telephone: 360-329-2461

E-mail: kchelp.kofc@gmail.com

Website: kofc8297.org/kc-help

Facebook: @kchelpwestwa

Walkers are available in a variety of colors.

Some elevators are available and KC HELP volunteers can help with the installation.

Some elevators are available and KC HELP volunteers can help with the installation.

Beds, scooters and electric wheelchairs are among the items donated.

Beds, scooters and electric wheelchairs are among the items donated.

Power recliners are rarely donated and are therefore coveted by customers.

Power recliners are rarely donated and are therefore coveted by customers.

Dressers are always a necessary item for the elderly or those undergoing surgery.

Dressers are always a necessary item for the elderly or those undergoing surgery.



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