ECCF: 20 Years: celebrating our past ~ inspiring our future
This is the 3rd in a series of articles on the Elk County Community Foundation (ECCF) during its 20th anniversary year, highlighting its history and impact in the community
Hospital equipment program thrives with help from grants
St. Marys, PA, March 24, 2020:
The Fox Township Hospital Equipment Program is well known throughout the area as a resource for people to borrow hospital equipment for use in their homes to assist with their medical needs. All of the equipment the program lends out is either donated by individuals or purchased through grant money. That is where the Elk County Community Foundation comes in.
Over the years, numerous grants have assisted the American Legion in Fox Township with expansion of their program. The Elk County Community Foundation awarded many grants to the program through the years including: $1900, $3500, and $10,500 grants from the Elk County Development Fund; $1000 and $5000 grants from the Harrison and Muriel Dauer Stackpole Fund; and a $950 grant from the GKN Pass-Through Fund. These grants helped fund the purchase of hospital equipment, updates and maintenance, and additional storage and building expansion.
George Mosier and his wife Norma were active with the program for over 45 years before they retired just two years ago. According to George, it all started many years ago when an outfit came in selling magazines and enlisted the American Legion to be involved. The Legion would receive points for every magazine sold, and could purchase hospital equipment with a certain number of points. George said, “We bought two hospital beds with those points, that was our start. Then people began donating their used equipment to us. Originally only Fox Township residents could borrow the equipment, but as our inventory grew we expanded our outreach to everyone who needed help.”
The original name of the program was the American Legion Hospital Equipment Program. When growing pains created the need for additional funding they changed the name to the Fox Township Equipment Program and obtained their 501c3 status which made them eligible to apply for grant funding.
Their first location was on the second floor of the Legion building. Beds and equipment had to be carried up and down the stairs. When the Legion needed the upstairs rooms for other purposes, the equipment was moved to the abandoned ambulance garage in the lower level. Grant money they received from the Elk County Community Foundation helped them update and add onto the building to accommodate their growing program.
According to Fox Township Legion representatives, today the hospital equipment remains in very high demand, with calls ranging from 2 a week, to 30 a week. In fact, the demand is constantly going up due to insurance limitations. Remaining in your home environment during and following an illness requires many adjustments in the home, including the need for wheelchairs, walkers, hospital beds, and more.
The Fox Township Equipment Program has been a valuable resource to help keep people safe and comfortable in their homes. This loan program provides a cost-effective way to borrow needed equipment which can then be returned at a later time to pay it forward to others in need. The program serves anyone who is in need in the area. Request have come as far away as Brookville, PA. Equipment can be borrowed or donated by calling 885-6117 and leaving a message on the answering machine. Someone will return your call to make arrangements.
Improving the lives of people in Elk County is what the Community Foundation is all about. ECCF makes it easy to support the causes you care about, whether you want to make a memorial or honorary donation, give to an existing fund, or create a plan to establish your own fund for future charitable giving. Philanthropic giving from generous donors over the 20-year history of the Community Foundation has made possible the many wonderful projects and programs that enhance the lives of our residents. For more information on the Elk County Community Foundation, call 834-2125 or visit their website at www.elkcountyfoundation.org.