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Three years of funding coming to our durable medical equipment recycling program


Sometimes people who need durable medical equipment like wheelchairs, walkers, and electric scooters cannot afford them and go without. This is especially true in New Mexico where many people live in poverty and don’t have health insurance. That’s where Adelante’s Back in Use program can help.

Back in Use is a nonprofit resource that takes in donated equipment that people are no longer using and gives it away, free of charge, to a person that needs it. This month, Back in Use was grateful to get a healthy dose of support from Presbyterian Health Plan, with the promise of $60,000 in donations ($20,000/year for the next three years), to help sustain the program.

Back in Use provides a much needed service for New Mexico’s seniors and people with disabilities. Too often, assistive devices like walkers, wheelchairs, or hospital beds are used for a few months and then they sit in storage, unused, because people don’t know where to donate them. On the flip side, there are people who greatly need the equipment and don’t have access to what they need.

For example, Claudia Schoch, a local retiree with mobility impairment, was stuck at home, relying on grocery delivery and expensive ride shares to meet her needs. She knew a power scooter would help her regain her independence, but the cost of such a device put it out of reach. Claudia called Adelante Back in Use, crossing her fingers that they would have a power scooter. Claudia said, ““They called me back so quickly! The scooter was in perfect condition.”  Thanks to the scooter and Back in Use Claudia was able to rejoin her friends who meet daily at a local park to fly model airplanes and enjoy the fresh air. “I didn’t realize how much I missed it!” she said. Claudia can now travel easily and independently to the grocery store to stock up on fresh fruits and vegetables then stow them in her scooter basket for transport. Also, Claudia can now get to the bus stop so the buses can take her just about anywhere she needs to go. “This is a new light on life for me” Claudia says. “I got my life back.”

A woman sits on her scooter with her dog. They are in a grassy field surrounded by trees. It's sunny out. The Sandia Mountains are in the background.
Thanks to Back in Use, Claudia can go out and enjoy fresh air with her good friends.

Adelante counts on funding and donations of equipment to keep the Back in Use program in operation. Back in Use is in downtown Albuquerque, co-located with GiveABQ, at 1520 1st Street NW. The public can drop off donations at the site, Tuesday through Friday, from 9am to 3pm. Equipment must be in good working order when it is donated. To arrange the pickup of a donation or to request equipment call (505)445-5332. When the public brings durable medical equipment or assistive devices to Adelante Back in Use, team members inspect and sanitize the equipment and then make it available for other people who need it through a request system on www.BackinUse.org.

Brandon Fryar, president, Presbyterian Health Plan, toured the Adelante Back in Use warehouse and was impressed with the operation and this community resource. Fryar says, “The work of Adelante Back in Use aligns with Presbyterian’s purpose to improve the health of the communities we serve. Back in Use helps people get the equipment they need to live more independently, as part of the community, and it is a health initiative we are proud to support.”

Adelante CEO, Mike Kivitz explains, “Adelante’s goal as a nonprofit is to be a community resource. Back in Use is one way our organization gives back to the people of New Mexico, especially people with disabilities and seniors. Adelante greatly appreciates funders like Presbyterian Healthcare Services, because without financial support, the Back in Use program would not be possible.”

Donations are encouraged from the public to keep Back in Use sustainable. Financial contributions can be given securely online and pickups of donated items can also be arranged through www.BackinUse.org .