Get A Cane Bay Area began in June 2021 as a small effort to provide the gift of mobility to underprivileged individuals through ambulatory aids. Its recent founding coupled with the COVID-19 pandemic made it difficult for me to secure donations. Small businesses and stores that sold such aids had suffered financially due to the pandemic, and many were hesitant to donate because “Get A Cane” was an unfamiliar name. The first donations started off with friends, but as things started to reopen, I paid a visit to some libraries and senior centers with red and navy colored fliers that read “Got Any Walking Aids in Your Garage?”.
With that, Get A Cane was set in action. I teamed up with a few friends who helped make deliveries and phone calls. We picked up donations as well as gave a couple out, but we ran into a roadblock. Ironically, we had significantly more collected donations and less requests for the aids. We called numerous nursing homes and homeless shelters in the area with no luck. After pondering over why this was the case, I realized that we were trying to reach particular individuals and not major organizations who helped general communities. As word spread, we had some case managers and social workers reaching out to us who took care of the needs of a small group of individuals. We further promoted our nonprofit to these case managers who worked at institutions like the Institute on Aging and HomeFirst. We were thus able to fulfill the needs of individuals knowing that for example this shower chair was going to individual X who had knee replacement surgery. This way we entrusted that the donations we received were going to individuals in need which might not have been so easy to track if we gave out bulk donations to major organizations.
At present, Get A Cane is continuing to carry out our mission taking care of the needs of the community. We have applied to some grants to cover the cost of more expensive devices such as electric wheelchairs and mobility scooters that we do not currently have in our inventory. We plan to give these more expensive devices out on the basis of a few months so we can maximize the amount of people we reach. If you have any unused devices, donate now to join us in our journey and mission!
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