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Free, community medical closet seeks donations and volunteers

Published: Mar. 4, 2022 at 5:18 PM EST
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SPARTANBURG, S.C. (FOX Carolina) - Did you know there is a free, community, medical closet open to Spartanburg County residents who need medical supplies?

It’s called Spartanburg Shares. The organization says it’s the only of its kind in The Upstate.

James Zuckowski’s child needed help.

“My son’s girlfriend got in a very, severe accident. And she was in the hospital for two weeks,” said Zuckowski.

Doctors told them she can go to rehab, or they can get the equipment to have a CNA at home. So, he came to Spartanburg Shares and got everything he needed.

“I’ve come here for equipment, but I’m also a volunteer,” said Zuckowski, “That’s how I got started.”

Spartanburg Shares is a non-profit closet that loans medical equipment and supplies to the Spartanburg County area. It particularly helps those without insurance or without adequate coverage. You can rent things like wheelchairs, crutches, and canes—free of cost—for at least 90 days, but also longer, if you really need it, depending on demand.

Evan Carr is the volunteer coordinator.

“I think the more that there is an awareness and the more the pandemic went on, or more people are aging and getting sick; we’ve had more call us, contact us through email, Facebook, to get equipment,” Carr said.

Carr says their equipment can save patients anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars. To rent, all you need is identification to prove you live in the county, but Carr says they’ve reached people even further than The Upstate

“We impacted someone locally from Boiling Springs,” Carr said, “Her grandfather is across the country. We helped her help him with the equipment he needed.”

The closet needs volunteers, equipment and supply donations, and monetary donations so they can continue to help families like Zuckowski’s

“Anybody that has, like, a wheelchair in a garage that grandpa used,” said Zuckowski, “Bring it back to us, because we need it here.”

Carr says they need the help to keep going.

“We have to have at least two people in the building to operate on our hours. If there’s only one person available, we basically close for the day,” Carr said, “Without enough donations, just like with volunteers, there’s less of a reason to justify being open.”

They need volunteers for shifts on Tuesday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Thursdays from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. You can choose your block of time.

Those seeking equipment are seen in order of arrival.

You can find the closet at 137 South Dean Street. You can also click here for more information.

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