AUGUSTA COUNTY, Va. (WHSV) – Just off Churchville Ave. there is a sign that says HELP .. the Health Equipment Loan Program.

Since 2014, HELP has been trying to connect community members with the medical supplies they need.

“It was just a seed planted by God for a need in our community for medical supplies,” said Stefanie Bartley, co-founder and RN.

Items range from ace bandages to hospital beds, and most items are donated by the community.

“One of the most important things we weren’t expecting is how useful it is for those who are grieving, they’ve lost a loved one, they have all this gear, they don’t know what to do with it. . And so when they donate it and they know it helps other people, it also has a huge impact on the community, ”said co-founder Regina Griffin.

The program seeks to help with equipment costs, and last year the community saved over $ 200,000 that would have been spent on equipment.

While the supplies go mainly to residents of the Shenandoah Valley, the program has helped as far as Denmark, Sweden.

“We serve anyone in need, no matter where you are from,” Griffin said.

During the pandemic, especially the past two months, there has been an increase in the need for supplies.

“As the cases in our region increase, I feel the needs increase. And that people try to keep their loved ones at home, or maybe bring them home from a nursing home. And they find out they need a lot of supplies to get there, ”Bartley said.

Bartley and Griffin say one of the best parts is knowing you’re making a difference.

“The hospital beds we put in, this one, always touches your heart because it’s usually a great story behind it. Someone who hasn’t slept in a bed for over a year with a chronic illness. And now we have the joy of knowing that they are going to sleep in a bed for the first time in a year because they were able to connect with us, ”Bartley said.

HELP is open three days a week on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, but they are also available by appointment.

The program is raising funds to purchase the building it is currently in to allow for its expansion and is halfway to its fundraising goal.

If you want to donate, you can find it on the program website.

For more information on HELP, you can visit the Facebook page or website.

Copyright 2020 WHSV. All rights reserved.

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