Medina Lions Club seeks child-size wheelchair for medical loan closet

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 10 March 2023 at 4:37 pm

Photos by Ginny Kropf: Jim Punch, who oversees the Lions Club Medical Loan Closet with Dave Bellucci, poses amid the room full of medical equipment they have available for loan. They are looked for a donation of a child’s wheelchair, for which they’ve had requests.

MEDINA – The Medina Lions Club Medical Loan Closet exists to help people who need medical equipment, and now the loan closet is in need.

While the closet has been in existence for many years, having started in Lyndonville, the Lions have never had a request for a child’s wheelchair, until recently. In the past few months, they have received three such requests, according to Jim Punch, who oversees the closet with Dave Bellucci.

The Medina Lions Club Medical Loan Closet is located at the Olde Pickle Factory on Park Avenue.

The Medina Lions took over managing the Medical Loan Closet from the Lyndonville Lions in the summer of 2019. A short time later, with the help of Lyndonville Lion Russ Martino, the Medina Lions began to operate the loan closet, with the purpose to accept donations of medical items from the public and lend those items to those who need them.

“Very often, the need of these expensive items is temporary and we provide a way to reuse them and save people the expense of buying them,” Punch said. “Everyone is eligible to borrow items from us, and we serve all of Orleans and eastern Niagara counties.”

The medical equipment, which includes hospital beds, wheelchairs, walkers, canes, knee scooters, braces, shower chairs, commodes and lift chairs, among other items, is stored in space generously donated by the Old Pickle Factory’s owner, Roger Hungerford, Punch said. Other equipment is stored in overflow space donated by Barden Homes.

“We are completely dependent upon individual members of the community for our medical equipment,” Punch said.

“Recently, we have had requests for pediatric wheelchairs,” he said. “A good quality children’s wheelchair is quite expensive. When they come to us they are often in a difficult financial position. It is sad when we have to turn them away.”

Punch added they are now also in need of lift chairs and hospital beds. A short time ago, they had 24 hospital beds, but 22 of them are currently loaned out. He said they continue to accept donations of most items on the list above, with some limitations due to storage space. For instance, they have about 100 aluminum walkers and have little room for more. They also have an abundance of shower chairs and commodes.

The Medina Lions is grateful to those who have donated space and to the community for helping them provide this service, but they are hoping someone will step up and help them fill the need for a child’s wheelchair.

Anyone having a child’s wheelchair to donate or who would like to donate money to purchase one may contact the Medical Loan Closet at (585) 205-3502 or Punch at (585) 332-6398.