St. Louis HELP sponsoring medical equipment drive today

An organization devoted to getting needed home medical equipment into the hands of senior citizens is expanding its donation drive to south county today — Saturday, May 2.

Walgreens at 4400 Lemay Ferry Road, 1 Grasso Plaza and 8571 Watson Road are hosting a donation drive from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. for the St. Louis Health Equipment Lending Program, or HELP. All donations are tax-deductible.The nonprofit organization distributes roughly $1.4 million of free home medical equipment to people who need it every year.

St. Louis HELP takes in 40 percent of its annual donations at its two donation drives in May and October, but it has never had south county sites for donations before. The organization is excited to see how successful the new sites will be.

The organization accepts walkers, wheelchairs and pretty much everything else — even nonworking wheelchairs and other equipment, which it can use for parts to get other wheelchairs back into service. All equipment is checked over for safety.

“Essentially we take everything except for oxygen tanks and medications because we’re just not licensed to handle those,” said Laura Cannon of HELP. “Free is a word nobody understands anymore, but we try not to put any roadblocks in front of anyone. We do not require a physician’s prescription, we do not require proof of income — nobody asks for (medical equipment) that doesn’t need it.”

For more information, call (314) 567-4700.