ann marie quill
Rotarian Fran Farias, left, and Kathy Reed, executive director of Keep Sandy Springs Beautiful, with donated medical items.

Sandy Springs Rotarian Fran Farias says that having two disabled brothers has made her aware of the high cost of home medical equipment. So, when she was looking for a way to utilize some funds raised by the Rotary Club of Sandy Springs, she had an idea.

“No one [in the area] was really doing anything to recycle home medical equipment,” said Farias, who serves as the Rotary’s community service director, is a past president, and has been a member for 18 years. So last fall she started working on an idea for such a project.

“I’m all about collaborative efforts and partnerships,” Farias said. She approached city officials, who referred her to Keep Sandy Springs Beautiful, which operates the city’s recycling facility on Morgan Falls Road.

Farias says when she first was planning the recycling project, she thought about housing donated items in some kind of permanent structure or a storage unit, “but someone in the club said, ‘Why not a trailer?’”

She thought that housing the trailer at the recycling facility made sense. “I just thought because we had a great facility here in Sandy Springs, it was a much better partnership for us to have a permanent kind of location.”

Kathy Reed, executive director of Keep Sandy Springs Beautiful, says she was happy for the recycling center to house the Rotary’s trailer, where folks can drop off old medical items such as crutches, wheelchairs and walkers.

Now in its location for a few weeks, the trailer is holding several armloads of used items. Farias and Reed say they are spreading the word that more donations are needed.

Reed says that people can come to the center at 470 Morgan Falls Road at any time to donate items, and if the office is closed they can leave items at the door. Reed also noted that those donating items do not have to be Sandy Springs residents.

Once donated, the equipment is turned over to Friends of Disabled Adults and Children (FODAC), a nonprofit that refurbishes the equipment to give to people in need at no cost.

“There’s a waiting list for people who need these items,” Reed said. “There’s also a tremendous need for people to have a good place to dispose of these kind of items.”

Items that cannot be accepted include needles, sharps and pharmaceuticals. Accepted donations include canes, crutches, walkers, wheelchairs, bedside commodes, oxygen concentrators, hospital beds, nebulizers, roll-in shower chairs, scooters, toilet grab bars, unopened packages of adult diapers, unexpired catheters and unexpired wound care. For more information on items that can be accepted, call FODAC at 770-491-9014.