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Rotary Provides Free Medical Equipment
By Lois Thomson

A successful project in Ambridge is now being brought to Turtle Creek. Melissa Allenbaugh, current president of the Turtle Creek Valley Rotary Club, is implementing a program that will provide free medical equipment to people who need it. The equipment includes everything from wheelchairs (both manual and battery operated) and walkers and crutches, to tub benches and toilet seat risers and electric stair lifts.

According to Allenbaugh, "One of our sister rotaries in Ambridge started this program about 15 years ago, and they have been collecting these items. When I became president (in Turtle Creek) we talked about it and decided to start a chapter on our side of town, so that we would be able to serve more people."

Allenbaugh is a social worker who works with the geriatric population, and she said, "I see seniors all the time who can't afford a piece of equipment, or who can get one device from Medicare but not another. I also see people who have things they don't use any more, and we don't want those to go to waste."

The club seeks donations of various items, stores them, and then loans them to people for as long as they need. Allenbaugh said the Rotary is just starting this program, but the items collected have already filled a warehouse. "Express Storage in Turtle Creek donated a unit, and within a month it was filled; and we haven't even advertised, it's mostly been word of mouth." She said if somebody wants to donate an item, they can call her and she will make arrangements to either go and pick it up or meet them somewhere; likewise for making a delivery.

The person may keep the item as long as they like, but she hopes that if it is no longer needed, it would be donated back to the Rotary if it's still in good shape. The service is available to anybody, even, say, a 20-year-old who broke his leg and needed crutches. "There are no age requirements, no income requirements. The service is free to anybody who needs it."

For more information or to make a donation, call (412) 425-5513.

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