Loan Cupboard finds new home

Port Alberni residents will not have to go to Nanaimo to borrow health equipment. The Canadian Red Cross Health Equipment Loan Program (HELP) has found a new home in town after all.

The depot was faced with closure on Jan. 31 if a new location couldn’t be found, Red Cross public affairs manager Bruce Andrew said.

The depot is now located at Jericho Road Church, 5100 Tebo Ave. (the former Klitsa School building).

The Red Cross loans home use health equipment, by donation, to individuals who may not otherwise be able to afford the purchase or rental of items such as crutches, walkers, canes and wheelchairs.

“The Red Cross is extremely grateful to the City of Port Alberni for the use of space at Elizabeth Street for the past several years,” HELP co-ordinator Diane Marwick said in a statement. “Most of the loan service depots on Vancouver Island are completely volunteer-run out of donated premises; the generosity and commitment of individuals and sponsors make the service possible.”

The new depot opened Wednesday. Hours of operation will be 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Wednesdays. More volunteers are still needed to keep the depot open regularly, Andrew said.

“It’s fabulous,” he said of the new location. “This allows us to stay in the community and provide equipment to people.”

Clients are reminded that a referral is required, and they’re encouraged to call ahead at 250-723-0557 to determine the availability of the equipment being requested.

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