Need crutches for your child who sprained her ankle at basketball practice?
Need a cane, walker, rollator or shower chair for a family member having surgery?
Need a wheelchair or a bedside commode for an elderly relative coming to visit?
If you had to buy medical equipment every time you needed it, you could spend a fortune! And where are you going to store the devices after recovery?! Not to worry! Lending for Life has you covered.
Lending for Life is a free lending service or gemach of medical assistive equipment. Gemach is an acronym for Gemilut Chasadim (Acts of Kindness) and refers to a free loan society to benefit members of a community. Kaylee Stahler and Linda Schlesinger established Lending for Life last summer in memory of Kaylee’s grandparents, Jack and Lottie Kampf z”l, and Linda’s in-laws, Rabbi Dr. George Natan and Shulamith Schlesinger z”l and her sister, Lois Goldberg z”l.
“I got the idea for Lending for Life sitting in my grandmother’s house after she passed away,” says Stahler. “She had state-of-the-art, brand new, walkers and wheelchairs that she was hardly able to use. I knew that she would want to see these things put to good use. I thought a gemach would be a nice way to keep her legacy alive, starting with items that she herself purchased at the very end of her life.”
“I read about a medical gemach in the Dallas Jewish community and thought it would be a great idea for Memphis,” says Schlesinger. “I had collected so much medical equipment in my attic and garage from my kids’ injuries, my in-laws’ physical decline, and my sister’s illness, and it was all just sitting there collecting dust and taking up space! I wanted someone to be able to use it and thought it would be a nice way to honor the memory of my husband’s parents and my sister.”
While Schlesinger was contemplating the logistics of her concept, she was shocked one day to see Stahler’s flier for Lending for Life in a community What’s App group and reached out to her about joining forces.
Mostly word of mouth publicity has kept Lending for Life busy during the past eight months, much to the delight of its creators. Schlesinger keeps all the larger equipment, such as wheelchairs, walkers, crutches, knee scooters, shower chairs and commodes in her garage storage room, and Stahler stores all the smaller items, such as slings, braces, monitors, canes, bed rails, a cold therapy unit, and an inflatable hair washing basin. All items are sanitized upon return.
To borrow or donate an item or make a monetary contribution, email firstname.lastname@example.org, or text Stahler at 901-679-8437 or Schlesinger at 901-598-8256. All donations will be used to buy needed equipment. If you are unable to arrange pick up of an item, Lending for Life will deliver it.