JUNE 29, 2010

JOY KNISKERN: This is Joy from the Pass It On

Center, and we welcome you to today's webinar on how to get

equipment for refurbishing.

And in a moment we'll introduce our fabulous panel

of speakers, but first Liz is going to take you through the

features of using the system today, and she's also going to

give you some instructions on using some of the facilities

we've developed so that you can get your course credits for

CRC or CEUs.

So take it away, Liz.

LIZ PERSAUD: Thank you, Joy.

Hello everyone. This is Liz with the Pass It On

Center. Great to see everyone here. And, yes, it is hot

in Georgia, but it looks like we're about to have rain in a

few seconds, so it looks like it might be cooling down.

Again, thanks so much for joining us on today's

webinar: How to get equipment for refurbishing.

Just wanted to take a few seconds and just go

through the webinar system with everyone so you're

comfortable with it and you're acclimated with some of the

features that we have.

Before I do that, I see a question from Judy Duke:

Can I edit my name line?

And thank you, Joy, for answering that.

Yes, Judy, please go ahead and type in your name

and your organization in the public-chat area, and we can

get it from there.

As you can see, we've got the PowerPoint pulled up.

I'll be pushing the slides here from the Pass It On Center

central office.

To the right of the screen you can see that we've

been going back and forth. Folks have been saying hello

and asking questions in our public-chat area.

Right underneath there's a white box. And if you

put your cursor there and click, you're able to type and

plug in information into the public-chat area.

So if you don't have a microphone and you would

like to ask any questions or have any comments, please feel

free to type it in there, and it will pop up in our

public-chat area. And I, as well as our other speakers,

will be looking over to make sure that we get your comments

and your questions throughout our time here together.

Also wanted to let you know that right underneath

that we have a list of all the moderators here in the

session. Wanted to let you know that Kimberly Griffin, our

transcriptionist, is on with us today.

Thanks again, Kimberly, for being here.

Kimberly is working on recording our session and

transcribing it.

We do have archives of this and all webinars up on

the Pass It On Center website. If you go to the Pass It On

Center website and click on the "Webinar" link, you'll be

able to catch some of our previous webinars.

This webinar should be up and going within three to

four weeks. It does take some time for us to get it up

there. But once it is, y'all will be able to see the

PowerPoint, see the chat, and also listen to the audio and

have a transcription as well too.

If you do have a microphone and you would like to

ask a question at any time during the webinar, what you

would do is you would hold down the "Control" key on your

keyboard. And what that does is, if somebody is speaking,

it raises a little hand like you're raising your hand to

ask a question, and we'll see that.

Hold down your "Control" key on your keyboard while

you are speaking. But you need to remember to let go of

the "Control" key when you're done so we can answer your

question and we can make sure other speakers have their

chance to ask their questions and say comments as well too.

We do have some accessibility features as well. If

you go up to "View" and to "Options," you're able to, if

you use a screen reader, adjust the accessibility options

to your settings to work with your screen reader as well


I wanted to let you know that we are very excited

that we are now offering CEUs and CRCs for all of our

webinars for Pass It On Center. If you're interested in

getting CEUs, all you need to do is visit the AAC Institute

under their CEU section, look for the Pass It On Center

webinar -- this webinar information, and just proceed with

filling out the form and contacting the AAC Institute to

obtain your CEUs.

As I said, we are now offering CRCs. And in order

to receive your verification form, please send me, Liz, an

e-mail with your name, organization, city and your state,

and your corresponding e-mail address so I can send you

your CRC verification form.

And my e-mail address is

And I have that information typed into the public-chat

area, and it's also available on the Pass It On Center


So I think that is everything.

Thank you, Joy, for writing that down. AAC

Institute for CEUs. And e-mail me,

for CRC information to receive your verification form.

So with that being said, I think that's everything,

and I will then now pass it on to Joy to get us going on

our webinar.

Thanks again, everyone, for being here today.

JOY KNISKERN: Thank you, Liz. That was very


And what I'd like to do is just introduce our

webinar objectives today. And then after that I will

introduce our speakers.

And our learning objectives today are really, we're

here to learn strategies and steps to get equipment for


And we want to take away some promotional ideas and

examples to plan for getting equipment. You're going to

see some really neat ideas that other programs have

initiated that we're really happy to hear about.

And as Liz was saying, a lot of the materials

today -- all of them, in fact -- will be on our website and

our knowledge base as well as in the webinar section.

And then we're also going to hear lessons learned

from peers across the country who have successfully

received equipment through donations and collection and

donation drives. So that's what we're here about today.

And several years ago when we first started working

with the Pass It On Center, one of the things that we heard

so continually from people is: How do you get really good


And so we're going to look at that, and we're going

to learn some steps to take and then some steps not to


Let's move on to next slide.

Our guest speakers today are Sara Sack and Patty

Black Moore from the Kansas AT Program. They'll be joining

us first with their presentation. And then we'll follow in

with Cathy Valdez and Jerry Rivera with Project MEND in

San Antonio, Texas. Sonja Schiable and Robin Ramsey are

joining us -- thank you all -- from the FREE Foundation in

Virginia. And then I'll wrap up with a few comments about

what we've learned -- some lessons learned -- from our very

first collection drive here in Georgia.

So with that, Sara and Patty, let's just take it

away with their presentation.

SARA SACK: (Audio skip) ... and also on the call

this afternoon is Sharon Morton and Sheila Simmons also

with the Assistive Technology for Kansans project. And

they may be, you know, sending messages in and sharing any

of their thoughts, too, about collection drives.

So in just a minute hopefully you'll see the slide

which is our title: "Equipment Collection Drives: Will

They Work For Your Program?" Always that kind of

$64 million question.

If you'll advance the slide. Can you go ahead,


What you were going to be able to see here -- and

unfortunately we have difficulties with the webinar

platform at this time -- but you would have been able to

see about a minute-and-a-half piece of footage that was

taken by one of the local television stations that actually

showed one of our collection drives in process.

And the TV commentators interviewed a number of

donors of equipment and a number of individuals that were

coming along looking for equipment.

This footage has been posted, and there'll be a

link, I'm told, here. I guess I can see here it is now at

the Pass It On Center, and it appears in the "New Knowledge

Base" section.

So I would encourage you to go out and look at it.

We think that piece of footage kind of gives you a good

representation of what a Kansas collection drive may look

like and give you an idea of the type of equipment, the

quality of equipment that we were able to recover through

that collection drive.

We'll go ahead now to the next slide. Can we go

ahead, Liz?

Some people are telling me they're seeing a road

map. Maybe I need to refresh. We'll try that. No, I'm

not seeing it even refreshed.

Okay. All right. Evidently everybody else has a

road map. You didn't get the last one. Okay. I guess

it's coming through in different ways to folks. I'll let

folks here try and see if they can get this system on.

If you have a road map, it should tell you

basically what we'd like to talk with you about in the next

15 minutes or so.

And we want to tell you a little bit about

Assistive Technology for Kansans, which might help ground

you, basically who we are and how the reutilization program

works within our program and our state and what we've

learned in the process of holding collection drives.

And then we're going to be brave and share some of

our biggest bloopers with you and then hopefully our best

and latest -- and/or latest tips with you.

If we go ahead now to the next slide.

This slide we're not seeing but hopefully you are,

which will tell you that -- it's titled "The Statewide

Assistive Technology Program: Assistive Technology For


And the reutilization program in Kansas is part of

our statewide Assistive Technology Act program.

The Assistive Technology for Kansans, the broad

program, has four core services. And those of you with

Tech Act programs know very well what those are.

But if you're not with a Technology Act program,

the four core services revolve around device loan, device

demonstration, funding of that equipment, and then


And then all Technology Act programs also help with

information and referral and training. Some programs have

other funds designated to help conduct assessment. And

they all have public awareness activities.

If we go ahead now to the next slide.

A little bit more about Assistive Technology for

Kansans in particular to help you kind of understand us.

We actually partner with AgrAbility -- ah, now it's on our

screen. Yay.

We partner with AgrAbility, and we help injured

farmers, farm workers, and agricultural workers continue in

their role on the farm. This is part of our Assistive

Technology for Kansans program. And then of course our

reutilization program also offers used equipment to those

individuals in our outreach effort.

And then you can see the last item there on the

slide are Kansas Equipment Exchange, which is our

reutilization program.

That's what it's called here in Kansas. It's not

an exchange program. It was named way, way back. It is a

reuse, refurbish, and reassign program. And we actually

operate that particular program in conjunction with Kansas


So if we go ahead now to the next slide.

You'll see a little bit -- you'll get a little bit

of an idea of what Kansas looks like. It's a big state.

It's 410 miles across. We're actually down in the far

lower-right corner. And for us to get up to the northwest

corner is about a ten-hour drive. So it's a big state.

We have five assistive technology access sites in

our state as part of our Technology Act program. And we

have one affiliate site that is just a reutilization site.

So all of those six sites serve as our

reutilization centers. And that will kind of play in when

I explain the collection drives and how we actually ran

those and where we ran them and which ones worked and which

ones were a little bit more of a challenge.

The next slide.

We tried to kind of give you a thumbnail sketch of

our reutilization program and what we try and refurbish and

reassign. We consider ourselves a full-spectrum

refurbishment and reassignment program.

And we bring in power and manual wheelchairs, a lot

of bariatric equipment, patient lifts, electronic hospital

beds, augmentative and alternative community systems, and

so forth. What we don't take is we do not take crutches,

canes, and life-sustaining devices such as ventilators.

We serve the whole state, as I just kind of showed

you. And we focus on recovering, refurbishing, and

reassigning really high-cost, lightly used items. So

that's always our question out there of, you know, are we

really finding and recovering those really high-dollar


And, you know, that other really tough question:

Are we finding items that are lightly used so that we're

not using our refurbishment dollars to bring them back up

to high standards.

We collect between 800 and 900 devices a year, and

we reassign approximately 700 devices. We don't have much

in our storage system. We keep items only for 120 days.

And we really try and push and get the items matched to an

individual and then on out.

So we have very little storage. We have a number

of partners in the state with smaller loan closets, and

after the 120 days, we make this equipment available to our

other partners and our loan program partners.

So if we go ahead.

And we're trying to locate the used equipment.

We're trying to be very much a data-driven -- and we are

very much a data-driven program.

So we choose our event locations based on the need

for the particular device and the area and based on the

inventory, the current inventory.

So when we know that an area is really low on say

manual wheelchairs, that will be what we'll emphasize

either in our collection drive or our other public

awareness and locating activities, which we'll talk just a

little bit about.

So if we move to the next slide.

You'll see what we've tried to do in our full

spectrum of activities for locating equipment. We've done

a lot with targeted donation appeals to both organizations

and individuals. We've had radio campaigns. We've done --

and I know this is what everybody wants to hear about

today -- the equipment-donation drives. And we've held 13

equipment drives across the state.

And if we advance to the next slide, this will give

you an idea of where we've held these 13 drives.

Our program started in 2003, and our equipment

drives have really been just the last three years or so.

You can see there -- again, the little white squares are

where our access sites are. Those are our distribution


For the most part, with exception there of western

Kansas -- and it's kind of misleading there on the eastern

section -- we have not held our collection drives at our

distribution centers. We've gone outside that home base

and partnered with other entities to actually hold

collection drives in their communities.

So you can see we've had three out in the

western -- in the really rural portion of our state. We've

had three there in that north central section. And as you

move east, in the eastern part of Kansas is much more

populated. We've held two there in that center circle, and

then we've held two in the northeast and then three in the

big metropolitan areas of the eastern side of the state.

So that's kind of our experience base that we're talking

from today.

And if you move to the next slide.

You know, we're all into process. And so, you

know, the questions that we have and continue to have

before we're starting a collection drive.

The big question for us is: Why are we considering

a drive versus another form of locating the equipment?

And we kind of have centered that -- I mean

obviously you can get equipment from holding collection

drives. But another main purpose for holding the drive may

be public awareness.

And I think it helps us in setting our expectations

for the drive and probably also setting your budget for the

drive to really hone in there. Are you looking at public

awareness? Is that as important to you or maybe even more

important to you in some areas than the equipment?

And then secondly: What type of equipment are we

trying to locate?

Are we in need -- as I said earlier, we're a

data-driven program. Are we in need of very specific

equipment? If we are, probably a collection drive may not

be the avenue, you know, that we take. We may decide that

we want very specific radio campaigns and outreach to

specific organizations.

If we're looking more just general equipment,

equipment is low and we need it, a collection drive may be

the approach that we may decide to use.

The big one for us is that question number three:

Where would you hold the drive? And I kind of alluded to

that earlier: The home territory versus at a partner's


We've had some interesting experiences. We've had

a full variety of partners. And some of the things that

you need to think about early is, you know, is the partner

really going to share in the work, or is the partner just

going to say, "Yeah, you can use our building. You can use

our parking lot. That's great."

Or are they going to be there with you that day,

and are they going to help go out and promote the event?

Do they want to split the equipment?

In one instance early on, that was a question. We

had one group that said, "Well, yeah, we'd love to partner,

but we want" ... and they had a whole list of equipment.

We worked it out, and it in the end worked out beautifully.

But at first it felt a little strange, and it was something

that you clearly need to think about and talk about early

in the process.

And then here's the big one that we learned,

storing equipment. If you're holding a collection drive at

another person's facility, will they be willing to help you

out and store the equipment for a short period of time so

that you can really take a look and see how much equipment

that you did bring in in the collection drive.

And then for your transportation you can, you know,

target the size of the truck and the number of people that

you need to really move that equipment and not use

resources, you know, if that amount of equipment did not

come in. You can just be more exact in what you're doing.

If we move to next slide.

I know a number of you have heard us talk and other

people talk about really looking at your return on

investment. And again, that's always something that we do

with our collection drives.

The example that we're showing here is some of our

early drives -- whoops. We just jumped ahead -- I'm not

even sure how many slides -- oh, no, we didn't. I

apologize. I turned the page too soon.

I guess we -- yeah, we have more questions -- of

course, more questions to ask before we start the drive.

Oh, yeah, these are important ones too.

Do you and your staff have time to devote to a

drive? That's a very critical question. And when we do

get to the point where we talk about the return on

investment, our early drives I don't think we really maybe

probably gave credit to how much time it took to plan the

drive, meet with people, and so forth.

Now, after we've grown and operated more drives, I

think our estimates of the realtime are probably more on


We're guessing now that it takes us 40 hours of

staff time before a drive to get it all organized and then

to participate in the drive.

But then there's all that time after the drive that

I think it's easy to overlook. You've brought in all those

equipment. You've got all those thank you notes to write.

You've got all the details to resolve. And we're guessing

that that's about another 24 hours. So that's 64 hours of

time for the drive.

Another big question, and this we've adjusted over

time too: Does your budget really support a drive, or are

there other means that may be more cost effective for you?

Do you have financial partners that can help with the

drive? And are you able to advertise sufficiently? And

we'll show you our advertisement budgets here in just a


And then the big one: Do you have the money to

refurbish the items that you bring in? I think, again,

early on we did not budget sufficiently for the

refurbishment of these items. And that is, you know, a

significant amount of money.

And then that question: If you're holding the

drive off-site -- and we kind of talked about that a little

bit earlier to plan for -- ahead of time -- how are you

going to transport or store the devices until you're ready

to transport them? And then do you have the budget to back

that up?

All right. So now I can turn the page. And we are

ready for the return-of-investment slides.

And this is the first one, as I said, is one of our

earlier drives. And you see there's our budget. We had

$2,863 in advertising. We rented a U-Haul and our fuel for

that. And we had some volunteer gift cards for the staff

that helped during that day. And we have our personnel

costs there.

These were smaller drives. And, you know, you can

see the total budget for running one of these drives was

$5,000 -- a little over $5,000.

And you'll notice, from what I've just said, we've

learned over time this doesn't have any budget for

refurbishment, any amount set aside for the refurbishment

of those items, and in this case, the 137 items that we

brought in in those drives.

But if we take the cost and you subtract -- you

know, if you look at the value of what you brought in and

you take -- you know, subtract the cost and divide and so

forth, you come up with, for every dollar that you spent,

you brought in almost $14.

Now, we felt like this -- I mean this is a standard

way of calculating the return on investment. But the one

thing that we're not sure of yet -- it will be interesting

to hear the other speakers -- of whether you believe that

the equipment that you get in on collection drives might be

just a little more worn than equipment that you get in

under other ways of more targeted, direct, person-to-person


So what we did with the next slide is show you a

further calculated return on investment from these drives.

And we looked here to see the really high-cost items that I

told you earlier that our program was really looking at.

In this case, we said, okay, our purpose -- and

see, that early question: Was your purpose to locate

specific equipment, and/or was your purpose for public


So if you valued in your return of investment the

number of people that now know about your program, of

course your end figure would be different.

But here you can see that we did go back to those

drives, and we looked to see, you know, how many manual

chairs we brought in, how many power chairs we brought in,

how many scooters, because those were high-cost items that

we were particularly looking for.

But our return on investment came down, but it was

still over $8. So for every dollar that we spent, we had a

return, a positive return, of about $8 -- a little over $8.

So we're just throwing that in to kind of help

people keep thinking about that bottom line and looking at

the various options for what we're doing.

Okay. If we can move to the next slide.

Things that we've learned, kind of considerations

for the day of the event. And this was one we kind of

stumbled onto.

And looking at our volunteers and who was helping

with these drives and, you know, just what do you expect

from everyone that's participating, and do they know and

are they comfortable with that role?

And so one of our questions was: Would everyone

there be greeting the public, or would there be some people

more in the background in cleaning the equipment that came

in or in the inventory process? So that was just a general

question that everyone asked.

Move to the next slide.

And the questions that we asked were: Will there

be specific staff responsible for taking inventory of your

incoming equipment?

And we learned over time it gets very, very hectic.

And we would highly recommend that you have everybody's

roles kind of designated before people start arriving

because it gets wild.

And we would recommend that you inventory as you

go. Don't just take things and say, "Thank you very much,"

and put them aside because, as the day goes on, you'll be

tired, and you'll wish you'd started inventorying at the

very beginning.

A big question for -- I know if you've done this, I

know you're probably nodding your heads -- but are you

going to accept all donations or not?

And our practice has been we do accept all

donations. And we have vendors actually participating with

us in our collection drives and in some cases actually

hosting the collection drives, which is fabulous.

And we have them help us determine what is really

going to be quality equipment and what we need to just kind

of recycle right at that time and just move on.

We've quietly put, you know, not -- not electronic

items but other items in the dumpster at the end of the


But we do take them. When the pickup truck comes

or the van comes, we just say, "Thank you," and take the


Another question you might want to think about with

collection drives is: Are you going to offer a charitable

contribution for this?

And we do, but we're fairly quiet about it. So if

someone asks for it, we offer that we have the charitable

contribution. We don't have a big sign saying, you know,

get your charitable contribution here.

What we have learned is that we actually work with

the vendors and have them, if at all possible, determine

the value of that item right as the individual is there.

We have had a couple of instances in the past where

we didn't have the vendors right there with us, and we

wanted to be accurate in our value of that particular piece

of equipment. We didn't want to put the 501(C)(3) in

jeopardy at all, and so we were going to give the valuation

notice -- you know, mail it to them later. Well, then

there was some question about their particular piece of

equipment, and it was uncomfortable.

So we would recommend that, if you are going to

offer charitable-contribution forms, that you do it on-site

right at that time and not get into that mail-it-out-later

situation. But others may have solved it in a different


So if we move on to the next slide.

And the question here -- and you might think, Gee,

you've said this three times now, Sara.

But as you can guess and as you would have seen in

that piece of footage at the beginning, there is that huge

question of what are you going to do with all that

equipment at the end of the day? And where are you going

store it? And are you loading it into the van as the day

goes on -- which, you know, there are some advantages to

that -- or are you just going to set it aside and at the

end of the day put all like items together?

That's a pretty big logistic question that you and

your team want to think through.

In one situation up in northeastern Kansas, we were

fortunate, and when we actually asked the hosting

organization, they said, Yeah, we have a barn. Let's just

transfer the things to the barn at the end of the day, and

then, you know, you can come up next week when you're

rested and relaxed, and you can bring a real U-Haul truck

that really will fit and help move all this equipment.

And so that was the best of all worlds.

If we go on to the next slide.

What have we learned about donation drives? And

this first one I know sounds incredibly ridiculous. It's:

Consider conducting -- I can barely even get it out.

Consider conducting multiple drives on one day.

And Sharon Morton, our coordinator here with our

KEE program, kind of stumbled I think onto this. And out

in western Kansas we had folks that really wanted to

partner, and so she actually ran three drives at one time,

and it worked fabulously.

So from that experience, then we said, Okay, how

about in our metropolitan areas? We have Topeka and Kansas

City, and they're about a little over an hour and

20 minutes probably distance between them.

So what we did was we held a drive in Topeka in the

morning and a drive in Kansas City in the afternoon. But

it helped a lot -- both of those examples, especially the

first example out in western Kansas, Sharon was able to

bundle the advertisement and say -- you know, have the

general ad running and then say, you know, in Dodge City

it's at such-and-such location; in Garden City it's at this


And that just worked really well. It really got

the word out, and it was an effective way and we believe

still is an effective way of holding collection drives.

And that second point is really advertise your

event, developing a public-awareness component, having

radio and print ads and a lot of signage at the collection


The third point, clearly you need help. You need a

lot of people to pull these off. You need a lot of people

to get the word out through their communities. If you can

have the local folks going out to their civic

organizations, that is really, really beneficial. We've

had great turnout when that's occurred.

So if you establish partnerships in advance -- and

we've worked with Hospice. We've worked with the Area

Agencies on Aging. We've worked with the developmental

disabilities organization, the independent living centers.

Just a lot of people are willing to partner for these


In each case our KEE coordinator, Sharon Morton,

traveled to each of the cities in advance and really

established personal relationships. And we believe, again,

that that's -- it really contributes to the success of the

events that we've held.

Sharon would hold planning meetings and coordinated

with the partners and their resources. So that really has

helped stretch all of the events.

We go on to the next slide.

Our best and latest tips. At this point you would

have heard -- and again, you can hear it -- it's going to

be on the knowledge base, I believe -- this was one of the

radio ads that we were running, and it is that ad for the

one that we ran in Topeka and Kansas City at the same time.

Here is the print ad that goes along with it.

And what we found with this one, this was kind of a

leap of faith. We said advertise your collection drive in

the Sunday Magazines section of the paper. And we did that

in the Kansas City area, and it's a little pricey.

You know, you kind of gulp at first, and you think,

Well, I don't know. You can get a lot of other air time,

or you can get a lot of small print ads, one-time-only kind

of things. And how many people look at that Sunday


Well, we found that the Sunday Magazine, people not

only look at those magazines, they keep those magazines.

We had a phenomenal turnout in Kansas City. And many of

the people we'd say, "How did you hear about this?" And

they'd say, "Oh, I heard it on the radio, but I kept the

Sunday Magazine because that's where you were too."

So we really felt like we did learn something here,

and that was a very effective way of getting the word out.

And of course that second strategy there of really

using all medias but really using both your print and your

radio at the same time to expand your audience and not just

put all your effort in one form or the other, which at

first we were much inclined I think to do.

And if we go to our next slide.

At this point you would have heard -- and again,

you still can hear if you go out and go to the knowledge

base -- you would have heard another one of our radio ads.

And this is one of our radio ads that runs continuously.

It's not just the one-time-event ad. So it runs as a

stand-alone radio promotion.

And this has really helped. We've developed those

relationships. It's with the Kansas Public Radio System,

and that has worked well to get the message out. And you

can really get a lot of attention to your program from

those stand-alone ads.

And then our next slide.

Again, learning from our close-to-disasters is,

prepare your talking points about your organization ahead

of time and -- about your organization and the event, why

you need this equipment, so that you're sure you get your

message across when you're interviewed by radio or TV.

And the other tip we have there is, before they

start interviewing you -- you know, you're on the scene;

you're hot and sweaty from collecting equipment; and they

want to talk to you. Well, ask them how long that piece is

going to be. Are we talking about a 30-second interview,

or are we talking about a 60-second interview? Do I have

longer? Can I have a couple of minutes?

And the first time we did this, we were thinking we

had 90 seconds to 2 minutes, and we had 30 seconds, and we

barely got our names out. So I would always ask before you

start an interview.

Our best tips -- and we kind of mentioned this one

earlier, but we can't stress it enough -- to meet

face-to-face with your partners before the big event. So

as many of your partners as you can so everybody's

comfortable. You're on the same team together.

Arrange the equipment drop-off site during the

week. We've gotten quite a bit of equipment dropped off

before the event itself. And I think this also helps when

people hear that advertisement and they hear that, Oh, I

can drop this off any time during the week. I may or may

not actually do it.

But I think it helps them pay more attention to

your ad. And if you're really trying to encourage the

public-awareness aspect, I think this will help.

We actually, when we first started, had long

equipment drives. We'd start at 9:00 in the morning. And,

gosh, I don't know -- Sharon can chime in -- but I think we

quit at, I don't know, 3:00 in the afternoon or something

like that. Way, way, way too long.

We've shortened our equipment drives. We went down

to four hours. Now we're down to two hours. And two hours

seems to be fine.

Like I said, we ran one in Topeka from 9:00 to

11:00, and then we moved on over to Kansas City and ran the

next one from I think it was 1:00 to 3:00. And that worked


Again, of course, as you all know, say thank you,

and find ways to recognize all your partners'

contributions. And I think a number of you probably know

that, you know, we sign up for all awards that we can. And

thanks to the Pass It On Center, we're able to bring awards

back to the Kansans who'd helped us with our collection


They love that, and they hang those plaques on

their walls. They're great partners and continue to be

great partners.

We move to our next one.

Our biggest bloopers. And again, probably if

you've heard us talk very much about -- or you probably

know this blooper, but it was our biggest one.

We held -- very early on in our early reuse days,

we had a booth at the statewide Earth Day Festival, which

was on the grounds of the capitol. It was a big deal to be

there. But we very, very nearly became known as the

recycling queens.

It was a recycling event. And so the equipment

that was brought to that event was really, really old and,

you know, used. It was at the end of its life. So we

quickly tried to make that split.

So we do not -- we participate in recycling events

but not as Assistive Technology for Kansans or as a

reutilization program. We really keep that separate in

what we're doing there.

And this next one is a little humorous.

I guess the point here is just be prepared for

everyone because our collection drive really attracted some

unexpected entertainment. Now, this looks really tame

here. It did not feel tame when it occurred.

And again, if you'd seen that earlier beginning

piece of footage, we're at the Area Agency on Aging, and

it's a major thoroughfare there. And on the other end of

this is all the equipment that we've got that we've

collected during the day and big banners saying, you know,

"Assistive Technology," "Equipment Reutilization,"

"University of Kansas Sponsored," you know, "Medicaid

Sponsored," all of this kind of thing.

Well, they're holding the country stampede contest

about 60 miles away from here. And so this group has

partied all night, and they actually have a stereo going,

blasting great country western music, and they're dancing,

and they're just having a fabulous time and yelling at

folks that go down the boulevard.

And I'm thinking, "Oh. Oh, my. What are we

going to do?" But it turned out great. They had a good

time. They actually helped us load some of the equipment.

They were great.

But, you know, I guess it's just like get a good

night's sleep the night before, and be prepared because you

don't quite know what's going to happen when you hold a

collection event.

And then if we move to our next slide. We're near

the end now.

What's next for us? Well, we've just completed, as

I had mentioned, a radio campaign on the Kansas Public

Radio Network which we're targeting high-cost, lightly-used

assistive technology. And that's going very well. We're

looking and currently holding other radio campaigns on

commercial airways.

We have coming up in two weeks a really unique

situation. We have an association that needed AT, and they

need AT for approximately 9,000 conventioneers. And they

wanted to borrow some power chairs and some scooters. And

they had the insurance for it and in return have offered us

just incredible free radio time, advertisement on their

marquee for our reutilization program.

And one of the key individuals with this effort

also happens to own a number of radio stations, and so he's

volunteered free radio time throughout the year.

So, you know, it's one of those things you never --

kind of like the people visiting your collection drive.

You never know what's around the corner, but look for those


And then we'll be planning future -- future plans

involve revisiting those target -- targeting specific

groups. And we're going to do more of that looking for

particular pieces of equipment.

And then if you go to the next slide.

We've got some resources that we've made available,

and I think some of you have seen some of these. There are

several of our pieces that are on the Pass It On Center

knowledge base that we've got the list for, planning a

collection drive and all the steps and pieces on getting

donations of high-demand, lightly used durable medical

equipment; a section on bariatric devices; and locating the

e-waste recyclers for that equipment that you can't


And then we have a mini guide that has all of the

pieces that we've used on increasing donations, and you're

welcome to it, so if you'd just let us know. Some of the

pieces that are on that are the tips for the advanced

preparation of the interview. We've got all of our press

pieces. We've got all of the pieces for increasing the

targeted donations. And then we've got the environmentally

responsible actions.

And so then there's our information. And if you

want to contact us, we'd love to hear from you.

Okay. Patty's nicely here sharing the questions.

Why no canes? And do we refurbish walkers?

That's a great question. The Kansas program is

really, like I said, looking for high-cost, lightly used

equipment. And while we've gone down somewhat in our value

over time -- because people kept saying, but I've got this

really great piece of equipment -- basically we bring in

items that are valued at $120 or greater.

We kind of feel like we have -- well, we don't feel

like it. We know. We have limited staff, and so we think

that the equipment that we bring in really has to warrant

our staff time and our tracking time. So that's why we're

really kind of keeping the bar up there.

So we do take in some walkers, walkers that have

seats and brakes and wheels. Otherwise, we let our other

loan closet partners and others.

Then the other question -- and I'll quickly move it

to on Cathy and crew -- other question is: Do we sanitize

at the site or later?

We sanitize both. We sanitize as much as we can

during the collection drive itself. And then as soon as we

take it off the truck, we start working on sanitizing it


So at this point we'll turn it over to Cathy and

Jerry and hear from Project MEND.

JERRY RIVERA: Good afternoon, everybody. Can

everybody hear me okay? Hi. I'm here. My name is Jerry

Rivera, program manager with Project MEND. And I'm here

with Ms. Cathy Valdez, executive director.

CATHY VALDEZ: Hi, everybody.

JERRY RIVERA: And -- a little louder. Okay.

And we're here to give some tips on how we collect

equipment for refurbishing. A lot of what Sara said in the

first presentation is what's on our first slide.

So if you'd like to go over to the next slide,

please. Thank you. Okay.

So obviously the first thing we want to do is have

a DME donation drive. A lot of the points have already

been covered.

So first of all, consider your donation drive

community. Is the community invested in helping out with

people who have disabilities? And are they willing to

donate equipment that is no longer being used?

The second bullet point: Decide on the location

where the donation drive will be held. Do you have a

highly visible and readily accessible location?

Unfortunately, right now for Project MEND, our

location is kind of hidden, so we had kind of a hard time

when we had our first donation drive because a lot of

people did not know how to find us. We're kind of in a

little neighborhood area, and it was kind of hard to find

our location. So it wasn't to our advantage to have a

donation drive here at home, at our home-base location.

The other thing to consider, the length of time of

the drive. Will it be an all-day event? Will it be a

weekly event? Will you have anyone on staff during the

weekend? A lot of the times people who do have medical

equipment to give can't make it during your regular

operating hours, Monday through Friday, 8:00 to 5:00, if

that's the case with your location.

So in that case, you should have a drop-off

location in case no one is available to take these

donations. Fortunately for Project MEND we do have a

warehouse, and we do have space for storing DME.

Your other option is to partner with local DME

vendors and other businesses that might want to share the


And of course in the last presentation Sara was

really good about pointing out those partners. And we have

partners as well: DME vendors, local hospitals who are

interested in seeing us thrive because we help out their

clientele as well.

And, of course, make sure you have an adequate

number of staff and volunteers available to assist with

that drive. You always need enough people to be able to

load equipment, sanitize equipment, and just basically move

equipment back to your location.

And, of course, advertisement of your donation

drive is very, very important. Public service

announcements, newspaper ads. Of course they can be


We have a great guide here in Texas called the

"Texas Senior's Guide," and that gets distributed

throughout the city -- the city of San Antonio, actually.

And the senior guide, Project MEND has in the past

purchased spots in this guide, and we get really good

response from that. Of course flyers that are passed out

by the staff. And it's always a great idea to invite your

local media.

Another thing to consider here, a bullet point that

I don't have on here, is consider your local and your state

regulations when collecting DME. Unfortunately Texas has

really strict regulations when collecting DME. So

collecting DME at sites other than Project MEND would be a

problem for us. You wouldn't want to get slapped with a

fine when trying to do something good for your community.

And I'm going to pass the mic over to Cathy, and

she's going to talk about our donation drive and our

experience with that.

CATHY VALDEZ: Hi, everybody. It's Cathy. Can

everybody hear me okay? Okay.

I wanted to talk a little bit about our experience

with our first and only, so far, DME donation drive that we

held about three years ago.

We had slightly a little larger staff than we have

now. I think we had maybe ten people instead of eight

people, something like that, on staff that was actually

available to help us out.

But we had a really active board of directors as

well as still maintain a great relationship with the

University Health System here in San Antonio. They have

various clinics throughout San Antonio, and they also have

a couple of pretty good-size hospitals throughout the city.

What we did was to coordinate that drive with the

University Health System. We decided to set up at five of

their clinic locations -- they worked with us to set up

those locations as collection sites for the DME.

And what we did was to decide to have it on a

Saturday. And I believe it was from 8:00 to noon. So we

just had it for the first part of the day. It was

during -- I guess it was probably about this time in the

year where it's, you know, extremely hot and humid. So we

probably could have shortened that length of time to maybe

just a three-hour period.

Sorry, Pat. Is that better?

What we did then was we had our board of directors,

like I said, and our staff assist us with the drive.

And the University Health System staff as well from

the five clinic locations in San Antonio also helped us out

by sending out flyers, promotional flyers that we had made,

and they distributed them at all their clinics and had them

available for everyone to see and to pick up within their

clinics and in the hospitals for probably about, I don't

know, two to three weeks prior to the event.

We also had a membership with the Texas Public

Radio folks here in San Antonio, and they are incredible.

What they did for us was to also -- they've got four major

radio stations, and they helped us to promote not just

Project MEND and their services but also this particular

event. So that helped us quite a bit.

I'm sorry. The time on the drive was actually

until noon. It was actually 8:00 to noon, not 1 o'clock.

My mistake.

We had a delivery vehicle that was at each one of

our locations -- a truck or a van at each one of those

locations to assist with the donations. And that was the

reason I was asking Sara about whether they were able to do

some kind of a quick-and-dirty sanitization of the DME

prior to putting it into their vehicles and then taking it

to their warehouse.

I don't think that we did that. I think that

everybody was wearing the appropriate garb to be able to

collect the DME and loading it onto our trucks.

The unfortunate part was -- and you can go on to

the next slide, Liz.

The unfortunate part of our drive was that, even

with the advertising that we did -- and we also purchased,

you know, newspaper ad, a nice big ad that was very costly

prior to the event.

Some of the negative results were that it still

wasn't all that well-attended, so we didn't collect a whole

bunch of DME. And some of those University Health System

partners didn't show up. So it kind of left us there.

But at the same time we had enough of the staff and

board volunteers available that, you know, I guess since we

didn't get an overflow of DME coming in, it was okay.

The good thing about it was -- and I'm not sure why

this happened the way it did; maybe people just

procrastinate -- but we did get a whole lot of phone calls

right after the event occurred, and people came quite often

throughout the next two to three weeks bringing in

donations of DME. So we did get donations, but it was --

like I said, it was after the actual event occurred.

You can go on to the next slide. And let me give

it back to Jerry.

JERRY RIVERA: Okay. Aside from having a DME

donation drive, we've been really lucky and fortunate in

the past and the present here because we've actually built

a key relationship with a company called Carex

Pharmaceuticals, and they're located in Fort Worth, Texas.

What this company does for us is -- well, what they

do is they store their DME. And some of the DME items they

can't or they're unable to sell in their stores, so they

keep it in their warehouse. They contact us. And instead

of destroying or throwing away these pieces of DME items,

they actually donate it to Project MEND.

So about twice a year Carex donates about 15 to 20

pallets -- yes, pallets; that's what I said -- pallets of

DME twice a year to Project MEND. And these pieces of DME

for the most part are brand-new.

So you're talking about -- for example, they have a

warehouse, and they store boxes of walkers or wheelchairs,

and one of those boxes happens to fall off of their storage

and falls to the ground, and it's a damaged box. Well,

they can't sell that back to their customers, so they

donate it back to Project MEND.

The great thing about that is the biomed tech that

we have here on staff brings it back, assesses it, might

have to replace a part here or a part there. But for the

most part the DME is brand-new.

And that's the great thing about building the

relationship with your local DME powerhouse. So that is

something I would highly recommend. Locate a DME

distributor in your area.

And I believe Carex is nationally known. They

might be called Carex. In some other states they might be

called Drive Medical. It really depends on your state.

Contact them and see if they're having the same

types of problems, and create that partnership and nurture

it because it's really important, and it's been really

great for Project MEND.

Next slide, please, Liz.

So building those relationships are really, really

important. And we have established many relationships in

San Antonio and throughout the Bear County and Alamo area

similar to the one we have with Carex throughout the


It's really important to contact those local, small

DME vendors as well to ensure that they're not getting

their floor inventory thrown out into the garbage. Contact

them. Sometimes they're not able to sell that DME back to

customers, and that would be a great donation avenue for

anyone to pursue.

Some other key DME vendors that give us donations

are, for example, Walgreen's. HEB just donated about

20 boxes of brand-new walkers to Project MEND as well. So

I don't exactly know the story behind that, but we were

able to take that donation as well.

And here at Project MEND it's really all of the

staff's responsibility to nurture these relationships and

maintain the relationships with the DME vendors as well as

look for anything new that's happening, anything that they

may hear about. It's always a lead for us.

And of course here I have a list of all the

possible organizations that you might have in your state as

well. Goodwill, for example, is a great, great

organization that collects medical equipment for us. And

they'll do the great thing of not selling it. They'll

donate it back to Project MEND, and we'll be able to

sanitize it properly and get it refurbished properly and

then distribute it the correct way.

Promise Medical. There's a whole list of

pharmacies and hospital agencies. Senior community

centers, as well, that you may be able to tap into for DME.

Now, the unique thing about Project MEND is that,

although we are small, our case managers and myself and

Cathy are really devoted to our outreach efforts. So what

we do is kind of a grassroots effort here.

We designate a day out of the week, and we go

vendor to vendor and pass out flyers and talk about our

mission, talk about what we're doing, and ask for donations

because that's what we really need.

The demand will always be there for DME. It's the

supply that is always hurting. So we try and network with

these occupational therapists, physical therapists,

doctors, nurses, anyone who has direct access to the DME

and can probably more than likely direct us towards the

right direction for those DME donations.

Now, the case managers also attend health fair

events. And that's a great avenue for word of mouth. You

get people who always know someone who has a piece of DME

to donate and are no longer using it. So tap into your

social service agencies in your community for DME


One of the other things that I have done myself is

partner with the local military hospital here in

San Antonio. San Antonio has a huge military community.

BAMC, the local military hospital -- Brooke Army Medical

Center, is what it's called. We have a great partnership

with them.

And a funny story. I was talking to one of their

head social workers over there, and she actually had

someone on her staff order about 50 brand-new manual

wheelchairs that actually was an unauthorized purchase.

So you have the local military hospital with 50

brand-new wheelchairs that they couldn't give out. So

we're trying to tap into that donation right now as we

speak. So that's also a great avenue for you to pursue.

And, of course, one important -- oh, one slide back

please, Liz.

So one avenue you might want to consider is your

own organization's client base. A lot of the times here at

Project MEND we have clients who, for example, get in a car

accident and need a wheelchair for X amount of time, four

weeks, eight weeks. But you know that they are going to

get better. They need it for rehabilitation purposes.

So we always ask those clients, you know, "When

you're done with that medical equipment, feel free to

redonate it right back to Project MEND." We'll reassess

it, refurbish it, and that's a great avenue for donations

as well.

Any questions?

JOY KNISKERN: And now we'll just jump right on to

the next presentation, which is Sonja Schiable and Robin

Ramsey with the FREE Foundation.

We really appreciate your joining us.

And Cathy and Jerry, we really appreciate the

information that you shared as well.

So we'll get the other slides up in a minute.

SONJA SCHIABLE: Thank you, Joy. We're glad to be


It looks like our slides are up. We're seeing them

any way. We can go ahead and get started.

Do you want to go to the next slide, Liz?

What we thought we'd go ahead and start with is,

before you ever even start collecting equipment, the first

thing that you really want to do is write your equipment

gifting policy.

You really want to determine what kinds of DME or

whatever equipment that you want to accept, or else you're

going to get every piece of equipment that's on God's green

acre. You need to hone down on exactly what it is you want

so you can kind of have some control of what you're going

to be getting in.

So after you've decided what it is exactly that

you're going to take, you also want to have your gifting

policy written. So that way, if you -- if someone comes

with a piece of equipment that's really not usable and you

don't want to hurt their feelings by not accepting it, or

it really is just something that's not in your realm of

what you want to gift, you have that gifting policy as an

out to let them know, "It's not in our gifting policy."

And that also just -- you know, you won't burn

bridges. You don't hurt feelings. And one thing that we

do that helps is to go ahead and suggest -- if you don't

take it, and you go ahead and just suggest places that they

could take it to, other organizations that may be gifting

that kind of item, you know, or a mission group that may be

taking that equipment so they can send it overseas if it's

not to American standards, et cetera.

So, you know, a manual hospital bed versus an

electrical hospital bed. Most people don't want to use

manual beds anymore. And same with wooden crutches versus

the metal crutches. You know, we tend to give all the

wooden crutches overseas, and everyone wants the metal

crutches because they're easy to adjust and they're so much

more lighter weight and easier to clean.

So just having those policies in place will

certainly help you before you ever get started with taking

in equipment.

ROBIN RAMSEY: This is Robin.

We started -- years ago, probably about eight or

ten years ago, with community drives. And we originally

started with a fundraising event, and it ended up becoming

more of a PR donation drive.

And what we did was a radiothon. We were trying to

raise funds, and we did an auction -- an autograph

celebrity auction.

And what we ended up getting more of -- we made a

couple hundred dollars off of our auction, but we ended up

gaining a lot of equipment donations from the community and

a lot of calls after that about wanting to donate

equipment. And so from that we started thinking more about

community drives.

Because community drives can take a lot of manpower

and a lot of hours to do, we determined that we would look

at it a little bit differently, and we would build

relationships in our community versus having event weekends

and event drives on a particular day.

And what we did was we developed close

relationships with the medical community. We are -- our

program is more of a medical model versus anything else,

and so we started with the medical community.

We also work with end-of-life agencies,

medical-equipment providers, and then other possible

partners in the community. And we're going to go through

each of those in detail to give you ideas about what that

would look like and how that would be included in your


Next slide, please.

Within the medical community, we did some outreach

to inpatient and outpatient physical therapy units, and we

put brochures in their patient discharge packets.

And I think Jerry said earlier that those are

patients that are going to be getting well, and they're not

-- most of them are going to be getting well, and they're

not going to need the specialized device anymore.

And so we would put our brochure in the packet, and

then they would give us a call, and we would arrange for

them to bring it to us.

We also worked with the medical community in

regards to getting some storage space, so if you're a

brand-new program that's trying to get started in your


They absolutely love working with us because they

know that, if the equipment is on-site, then they can get

someone discharged quickly because they can just send them

over to the next building at the hospital and pick up the


So we've had chapters of the FREE Foundation that

actually have sites that are within the hospital. So

that's another way that you can get their support.

Also home health agencies. We've done inservices

at home health agencies and developed relationships with

them. Some of the -- initially eight or ten years ago when

we did those, we actually had nurses in the home health

agencies tell us that they had equipment in the trunks of

their car that they'd like to give to us before we left.

And usually what ends up happening with home health

is that the people get well, and they don't need their

equipment anymore. And they call their nurse and ask them

what to do with it.

So again, our community drive was based on

relationships versus having a large day with a lot of


Next slide, please.

SONJA SCHIABLE: Another relationship that we

developed was with agencies that deal with end of life.

And I think this was touched on earlier as well.

But nursing facilities as well as hospice agencies

and funeral homes, all of those deal with end of life. And

when someone is finished with their equipment, then usually

the family members don't know what to do with it or where

to take it.

And so it's perfect for us to make them aware of

us, of our agency, by putting brochures in the family

packets at the funeral homes. And same with nursing

facilities and hospices. If the agencies already know

about us, then they have that information to pass on to the

families when that happens, and they can certainly --

that's one less burden for them to have to worry about.

Another thing, too, with nursing facilities is they

do have storage -- we have equipment right on-site for


ROBIN RAMSEY: A lot of times with residents that

pass away, family members don't want to take their

equipment. The nursing home ends up with it, and they get

stuck with a basement full of equipment.

And we've gone around and given inservices to the

nursing facility staff, and they then have wanted to have a

spring cleaning of their facilities. And they'll spring

clean their facilities, and their staff will bring over

equipment in trucks to our donation site. So they get rid

of it, and then we can kind of pick through what we want

and what we don't want.

SONJA SCHIABLE: And that's one of the situations

where you really want to have your gifting policy completed

and know it, so that way you don't get stuck with all the

garbage. You get the good stuff. And you have that out.

Next slide, please.

ROBIN RAMSEY: With DME providers,

durable-medical-equipment providers, they can easily refer

clients that bring their equipment back to them that no

longer need it.

In our state, many times if your insurance pays for

it or if Medicaid pays for it, then it's owned by the

patient or the client. And oftentimes they'll bring it

back to the DME provider, and the DME provider can't accept

it. And so they'll hold it and bring it to us.

They also give information to the clients and place

our brochure or stickers on the equipment and let them know

that, if they don't need it, that they can call us.

And then also one of the things that helped us when

we first got started many years ago is we partnered with a

medical-equipment provider, and they helped to teach us how

to clean and inspect the equipment.

They also -- they were placed where we -- they gave

us a closet for the first year or two until we grew out of

it. It was a large closet, but they gave us a closet for a

couple of years to help us get started. So if you're a new

organization, a new program, that can be a place where you

could also get some storage space.

They also gave us a technician one day a month to

help us repair brakes and help us to repair electrical

equipment and to make sure that the devices were very sound

devices before they went out to other people. And so

that's a great resource for not only equipment but also

technicians volunteering hours, and cleaning and storage.

Next slide, please.

SONJA SCHIABLE: And I see Denise had a question

about our brochures.

The brochures that we put in the packets are our

agency brochure, is what we use. We can certainly pass

that on to Joy and have our brochure available for that.

ROBIN RAMSEY: And originally when we started, the

brochure was nothing more than something that we did

in-house to get it out. And now that we've grown, it's

been revised a couple of times.

And it's just our personal brochure, and it has our

website and phone number on it.

SONJA SCHIABLE: It tells our mission and what we

do so that's what we use for that.

Possible partners. One thing I think that Jerry

had mentioned earlier is ( skip...) organizations

are already just naturally collecting donated equipment

from the community. It's different for every community.

For us in our community, people tend to take their

durable medical equipment, medical equipment to Goodwill.

So that's a partnership that we set up early on. Back in

2004 we partnered with Goodwill on having them get the

equipment donated to them, and they would give it to us.

And I'll let Robin go into that in a little bit

more detail here in a minute.

For some communities it's not Goodwill. It might

be Salvation Army. It could be churches. I know one of

the communities -- well, one of our chapters are in

Virginia. I think it's called God's Storehouse. And so

that's where all of the community takes their equipment

that they're not using any longer.

So you just need to kind of find where your niche

is in your community and talk to them and try to come up

with a partnership with them. So it's definitely a place

to start.

Lion's Club, Ruritans. They usually have closets

of equipment as well, and it's good to partner with them so

that the client's getting the right equipment, a good match

that you can get from them from the Lion's Club or the

Ruritans as well.

Next slide, please.

ROBIN RAMSEY: With the possible partners we wanted

to share more detail about our relationship with Goodwill.

With Goodwill it started about six or seven years ago.

And Goodwill is in our community -- in a couple of

our communities. They are the natural place where people

just -- they're spring cleaning out of their closets, out

of their basements, and they naturally just bring the

equipment in because they no longer need it.

Because that was such a natural fit in our

communities, we developed a relationship with them. And so

Goodwill is wonderful at getting the donations -- that they

didn't know what to do with it, and they were getting

overloaded with it. And a lot of the equipment, if it was

broken, they really didn't know what to do with it.

And then what FREE is good at is we're great at

cleaning and sanitizing and repairing the equipment with

qualified volunteers that are in the medical community and

doing the application process and making sure that the

right device goes to the right person.

And we also -- in other communities -- we were

talking about the Salvation Army. There's not a Goodwill

in that area, then the Salvation Army is the natural. So

in each of your communities just check and see where your

natural partnership is.

SONJA SCHIABLE: And of course, like any

partnership, you have to make sure it's a win-win situation

for both parties. You know, there's -- in order to market

it to the agency that's taking in the equipment that you

may need, is letting them see how it is going to be a

win-win situation for them because everybody wants to make

sure it's going to work on both ends.

ROBIN RAMSEY: And we get a natural out with

Goodwill that was -- these are the devices that we need,

but when we get too much equipment, if we get too many

walkers, then they keep them. They keep the excess, and

they sell them.

And typically what we do is someone might come into

their store and say, "I need a walker, but I can't buy it."

They'll send them to us, and if somebody comes to us and

they can purchase it an affordable way, then we'll send

them across the street to Goodwill.

We also have internally -- any equipment that we

receive, after we've cleaned it, inspected it, and know

that it's a good piece of equipment, we put out -- we put

on a sticker that has our phone number and our web address

so that, if the person is done with it, they can naturally

call us.

As well as, part of our data collection, we call

folks a month after they've received the equipment and

check on them. And we ask them during that time when we're

checking on them and how the equipment is working for them,

we ask them that when they no longer need it, if they'd be

willing to donate it back.

And we remind them that the sticker is on their

device and that, if they don't remember our phone number,

they just look on the wheel of the wheelchair or on the

side rail of the bed, and our phone number is right there,

and they can call us back.

So that's an easy thing. It doesn't cost you

anything but labels and some printing.

Lessons learned. Sonja, do you want to do that?


Lessons learned. One thing -- before you start

taking in all of this equipment, one lesson that we've all

learned is to make sure you have adequate space to store it


You could get all kinds of equipment and have no

place to put it, and it's no fun having your own garage

filled with all of that equipment.

Determine boundaries for picking up equipment. You

know, if you say, "Yes, I'll take that hospital bed," and

then you're driving a Honda Civic, you've got to think that

through, that either you're going to say, "Yes, I will pick

up equipment," or you may have it be part of your gifting

policy is that people have to bring the equipment to you.

ROBIN RAMSEY: And that's ours.

SONJA SCHIABLE: That's ours, yes. We don't go

pick up equipment. We have them bring it to us or drop it

off at a Goodwill.

Have an outlet in place for unusable equipment.

You will get equipment in that -- you know, there's always

a lot of -- there's diamonds in the rough, but there's a

lot of rough.

So definitely already have thought through that.

Be proactive and sort of reactive as far as what you're

going to do with that equipment that's really not reparable

or reusable at American standards.

We do ship stuff to third-world countries. The

shipping laws have changed, so that's made it very

difficult. It's not as easy as it used to be.

Also one thing that we use a lot is recycling

companies that are in the community. So look and see what

you have for salvage and how you're going to get stuff to

salvage if needed.

ROBIN RAMSEY: And with that local recycler, that's

been a great win-win for both of us. They bring a large

container, and we go through and put in the devices that

aren't reparable, and they come back and take it.

But when they do, we get a little check. You know,

it's not a lot, but we get a little check back from the

aluminum or from the steel from these devices.

SONJA SCHIABLE: So we get a little money, and they

get our metal.

So that's in a nutshell from us. Does anybody have

any questions?

Back to you, Joy.

JOY KNISKERN: Thank you again, Sonja and Robin.

And we're going to just move on and advance to the

next slide. We have about four minutes to go, but we'll

move ahead.

And one of the things I hope that we can accomplish

today is that all of you out there, that you'll be able to

take one piece of what you've learned and apply those steps

and apply those strategies.

And get back with us, and let us know what you've

learned; what were your bloopers; what did you learn; what

worked; what didn't work.

And let's go ahead and advance to the next slide.

What we're going to cover in the next few minutes

briefly is an experience we had in Georgia with our very

first collection drive, a faith-based collection drive.

And I want to thank Rhonda Perling, who's a social

worker and our AT funding specialist. Wasn't able to be

with us here today, but she helped to really put this

presentation together.

Also Touch the Future and Friends of Disabled

Adults and Children, part of our Star Network, they were

partners in developing this faith-based collection drive.

We produced about a hundred items, 55 DME items

that we collected and 45 computers, laptops, and printers

as well as cell phones.

So we can advance to the next slide.

It was really an interesting experience for us.

Rhonda actually knew a pastor in a church near her home and

through something totally unrelated to work. And so she

called this pastor, and said "We've been working on putting

together a notion of a faith-based collection drive for

reused equipment."

The pastor said, "I remember you. And you know

what? I understand DME. I understand assistive

technology. We would love to partner with you. My son had

Lou Gehrig's Disease, and he passed away a few years ago."

And so you never know about the serendipity that

seems to occur when you just reach out and make an effort.

We knew that we wanted to do it in an urban area,

in Atlanta specifically, because our two major hubs for the

Star Network, both FODAC (Friends of Disabled Adults and

Children) and also Touch the Future are all here.

And this happened to be a very large congregation,

which suited what Rhonda was looking for. They have over

3,000 families with the congregation.

She also wanted to look for a multigenerational

congregation because of all of the interesting things that

we could do with that and also having people who are older

in the congregation as well as younger people as well.

We also wanted to look for a service-oriented

partner. And this particular church has an assisted-living

facility that they developed through partnering with HUD.

They also have HUD housing towers. So they have a lot of

people who aren't even in their congregation that are

affiliated and using those facilities at the towers and the

assisted-living location.

They also have a very well known in Atlanta pre-K

to 12th grade school. And again, many of the parents there

are not even affiliated with the congregation. They just

know it to be a very, very good school.

The monthly congregation also does already donation

drives, food drives, sock drives. And so this fit right in

with their concept of doing service for the community.

So with that we developed a little timeline. I

don't know if you can read the actual timelines. I'm going

to go through this in narrative form in a moment.

Rhonda contacted the pastor. You can see that on

the left-hand window. And then there were I think one or

two planning meetings with the pastor as well as Chris

Brand with Friends of Disabled Adults and Children, Joanne

Willis. I think Bob Rust may have been involved over at

Touch the Future Inc. And they do refurbished computers

and laptops.

With that then Liz, who's with us today, developed

this wonderful flyer that's on our knowledge base. And

there was an e-mail blast done to the congregation about

six weeks prior to the event.

And then there was -- and it wasn't just to the

congregation. They sent this e-mail blast also to all the

parents of the kids in the schools, everybody in the

assisted-living facility, the staff, you name it.

And so it was a huge list of people that they sent

this to. And then they did the second e-mail blast about

two weeks prior to the event.

Then we had the event. And this one was only one

hour. We'll talk about that in a minute. And then I'll

talk about pickup and feedback in just a minute.

So we can advance to the next slide.

And thank you those of you who can stay past 3:30

just for a few minutes longer.

Again, as I said, we started planning six months

out. That was largely because the congregation has so many

other donation drives that they do each month. And so they

put us on the calendar, and then we developed the flyer.

That was a pretty straightforward thing. You'll see it on

our knowledge base.

And as I mentioned, then six weeks out the flyer

was sent out to everybody: congregation, all the people

with their service initiatives in school. And then two

weeks out they sent the second e-mail blast. Not much time

involved in that.

Next slide, please, Liz.

And so then on the day of the event, it was done at

the church, and they gave us space in the foyer. They have

a very large foyer storage area at this particular church.

And Rhonda as well as about five other staff of

volunteers were there at about 10 o'clock, from 10:00 to

11:00, and people were to drop off equipment.

Then they also had the option of dropping off

equipment the week before. And they were also able to drop

off some of the computer red-lighted items and overflow

items at the school across the street as well as at the

foyer there.

We didn't plan on taking the equipment away that

day. It was just during that one hour that we were there.

The minister also -- we talked about public

awareness as a part of this whole donation drive

experience. He thanked all of our partners in front of

everybody: Tools For Life, FODAC, Touch the Future.

They also set up this little basket where people

could give cash donations. And I think we got about $50

during that.

But again, this is just one service. What if we

did something like a multiple event with several groups

across the city in different churches or faith-based

organizations and tried the same thing?

The day after the event, that following Monday, the

plan was that FODAC would take a truck and pick up the

donations and all of the equipment and the computers Monday

between 9:00 and 12:00 noon. And it was done at that time

because of carpool arrangements with the school that they


And we had said in advance that we wanted canes,

crutches, walkers, bedside commodes, gently used items,

tub-side benches, wheeled hospital beds. We got one of

those, although we didn't specifically ask for hospital

beds because we were concerned about how bulky that would

be. We also asked for computers, laptops, printers, and

cell phones.

And so we'll advance.

And we learned from that experience. We learned

quite a bit, as you'll see in a minute.

We didn't specify specifically what we needed. I

mean we just said canes, walkers, all that stuff that I

just went over.

What we should have done -- and Rhonda said, yes,

this is what we need to do the next time -- is ask for

gently used power chairs, manual chairs, hospital beds,

walkers, maybe bariatric items, and some of the other


She said we don't need any crutches. We got so

many crutches, and FODAC already gets a lot of crutches.

What we also found was that the majority of the

computer electronics and cell phones and printers, they

were not usable.

And so what we gathered from that -- because I

think ReBoot of Touch the Future Inc. has a very strong

partnership with many organizations -- there might be a

different way to target a collection drive specifically for

that kind of equipment.

We also learned that we didn't need six staff on

the day of the drive. We actually had three volunteers and

three staff there. Two easily would have suited the needs

at that one location. But again, because it was our very

first experience, we didn't know. So we learned from that.

And we'll advance the slides.

And so, again, Liz is going to talk a little bit

about CEUs and CRCs and also I think a bit about our

program evaluation.

But before we move to that, are there any questions

that folks have today for any of the speakers and about any

of the material that we presented?

LIZ PERSAUD: Hi, everyone. This is Liz with Pass

It On Center.

I just wanted to point up in the public-chat Allen

with PARI Independent Living Center had a question for

Sonja and Robin with FREE in Virginia.

And he asked: How do you find qualified


And their answer was: Allen, we worked closely

with the medical community in this. We recruit physical

therapists, occupational therapists, and equipment

technicians. We also invite leaders in these fields to

participate on our board.

So thank you and Robin for that answer.

And I also know that you guys said that you sent us

the FREE brochure. And as Trish responded, we'll get that

up in the knowledge base so folks have access to it.

JOY KNISKERN: Thank you so much for joining us

today. We really appreciate your participation.

I also want to give a final thanks to all of our

speakers. We really appreciate all the excellent materials

they've provided for us.

And you will be getting an evaluation form, and we

look forward to talking with you next month for our next


LIZ PERSAUD: Just to remind everyone for credits,

if you need CEUs, visit the AAC Institute. And if you are

in need of CRCs, please send me,, an

e-mail in order to receive your verification form with your

name, organization, city, state, and corresponding e-mail


We also have survey evaluations set up through

SurveyMonkey for Pass It On Center. It's in the chat box.

And I'll post that again. So if y'all can just take a few

moments and fill out the survey. It shouldn't take you

more than five minutes. We greatly appreciate it.

Thanks again for joining us, and thanks for hanging

on with us a few minutes after.

See you guys next time.

JOY KNISKERN: Also, Liz, one more item. I think

that we need to -- she needs to get your name,

organization, city, state, and e-mail address for CRCs no

later than a week from today, sort of close of business

next Tuesday, because of time frames we have to meet with


Thank you.