Castlegar Red Cross program widely used.

Success of Red Cross equipment loan program leads to call for volunteers

Castlegar's Red Cross is continuing to offer important services to the community through its health equipment loan program (HELP).

Castlegar’s Red Cross is continuing to offer important services to the community through its health equipment loan program (HELP). The program loans medical equipment to clients that are post-surgery, post-accident or dealing with an illness so they can be more mobile and independent in the community.

The program saves people who are already suffering from having to spend a lot of money on things they may only need for a short period of time. “If I had to buy this stuff it would have cost me a fortune,” said Marc Conacher, a recent client of HELP. “That stuff was a life saver. Everything I used — I really needed it. It was a very positive experience for me, I came in and they were very professional. It’s a fantastic organization.”

Conacher will be in need of HELP’s services again in a few months as he faces another surgery. “I’m really, really grateful they are there,” he said.

Without HELP, many people with medical equipment needs would not purchase all of the equipment recommended to them by their healthcare providers, potentially hindering their recoveries.

Because HELP is so successful, they are currently in need of at least four more volunteers. “Over the years, the demand for our equipment has increased and that is partly why our demand for volunteers is increasing, so we can keep up with that demand and still provide quality service to people,” said program coordinator Susan Kolebaba.

Volunteers help with everything from reception, client services and paperwork to cleaning and disinfecting equipment. Ideally, they volunteer one day a week for a three hour shift. HELP is open from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Thursday. If enough volunteers come forward, HELP would consider extending program hours. “It would be nice to be able to provide the service for the community on Fridays,” said Kolebaba.

Castlegar Red Cross also has a disaster management arm that kicks in when there is a local disaster, working in partnership with local authorities, but is always preparing for an emergency. “They are always meeting and training,” said Kolebaba. “That’s what makes them so wonderfully efficient when the time arrives.”

Just Posted

Paramedics union raises alarm over spike in out-of-service ambulances

Staffing shortages affecting service levels in Kootenays

Split council vote changes Castlegar infrastructure levy from five to seven years

Major industry will be seeing a tax increase over the next seven years as well.

South Okanagan-Kootenay MP calls federal budget ‘not bold enough’

Richard Cannings, MP for South OK and Kootenay communities says budget missed the mark

Update: Car located in Pend d’Oreille River, teenagers remain missing

A fundraiser has been set up at Kootenay Savings in Fruitvale to help support the family

Spring has sprung in the Kootenays

Showers and temperatures near the seasonal norm of 10 C are expected by Sunday

Five highlights in the 2019 federal budget

Latest budget includes a sprinkling of money for voters across a wide spectrum

Vancouver driver ticketed twice within 6 minutes for same offence

The man was written up by two different officers for using an electronic device

B.C. teacher reprimanded after incident with Grade 11 student in school gym

Gregory Norman Brock was teaching at a high school in the Maple Ridge-Pitt Meadows School District

B.C. man ‘parks’ horse during liquor store pit stop

As long as animal wasn’t jaywalking, no problem, says Parksville official

‘Full worm super moon’ to illuminate B.C. skies on first day of spring

Spring has sprung, a moon named in honour of thawing soil marks final super moon until 2020

Starbucks to test recyclable cups, redesign stores in B.C., U.S. cities

The company also said it plans to redesign its stores as it adapts to increasing mobile pick-up and delivery orders

In pre-election budget, Liberals boost infrastructure cash to cities, broadband

The budget document says the Liberals have approved more than 33,000 projects, worth about $19.9 billion in federal financing

‘That’s a load of crap’: Dog poop conspiracy spreads in White Rock

Allegation picked up steam through a Facebook page run by a city councillor

Facebook to overhaul ad targeting to prevent discrimination

The company is also paying about $5 million to cover plaintiffs’ legal fees and other costs

Most Read