For the last 28 years, Community Caregivers of Greater Derry (Loaner’s Closet) has been assisting the frail, elderly, temporarily or permanently disabled, and individuals dealing with chronic illness. The organization consists of two main branches of free public service that provide support and assistance to help people maintain independence in their home environments: a Volunteer Caregiving Program and the Loaner’s Closet.
The Volunteer Caregiving Program supplies visitation, transportation, errands, chores, limited respite care, and referral information to residents in need. Its 100 or so volunteer drivers make the 60-80 drives per week a reality for those in need, providing transportation to medical, dental, and behavioral health appointments. For one-on-one care, the Caregivers can match elderly residents with someone to do just about any of the aforementioned tasks . . . and then some!
The other major branch of the program is the ever-popular Loaner’s Closet. Through donations and fundraising, the Caregivers are able to loan out medical equipment and personal items to individuals who may not otherwise be able to afford or acquire them.
“Anything from a cane to higher equipment can be found at the Loaner’s Closet,” says Office Coordinator Julie Levesque.
The best part about the Loaner’s Closet may be that all equipment loans are free of charge! All the organization asks is that it is returned when it is no longer needed. Local healthcare professionals, occupational and physical therapists, and visiting nurses can also borrow equipment for their clients if residents are unable to visit or contact the Caregivers themselves.
All donated items are evaluated, accepted, and cleaned for potential borrowers, who can call the office at 603-432-0877, view their website, or visit their location at 1 B Commons Drive #10 Londonderry, NH 03053, if they need assistance. If certain equipment isn’t available, then interested borrowers can be put on a waiting list until their items are available.
The Caregivers have developed an impressive 450+ network of volunteers over the years, which are managed by the five upbeat and dedicated individuals who staff the office in. Staff members oversee the client, volunteer, financial, and day-to-day operation of the agency. The organization has been so successful, and local communities so supportive, that they are able to donate their overflow to Haiti, the Dominican Republic, and Zimbabwe a few times a year.
“Nothing goes into a landfill,” says Levesque.
They can even coordinate the donation of items that may be too large for the Loaner’s Closet, such as ambulances and hospital beds, to residents or agencies in need. While the Caregivers have no geographic restrictions, most of their services aid residents of Derry, Londonderry, Windham, Sandown, Chester, Hampstead and Danville (at no charge); most of its borrowers come from New Hampshire.
The size and scope of the organization means that it’s always in the need of more volunteers. Please visit https://comcaregivers.org/volunteers/ for current opportunities, or call the office to inquire about how you can help.
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