Jean Adams has been abundantly blessed since she decided to tackle a job she was sure would be too tough.
“I talked to God for three days and had decided I could not do it,” she said, explaining a nurse told her about the number of people in need of things such as shower and bath chairs, walkers, wheelchairs and other health-care related items.
“At the time, I thought ‘Well, I hope somebody can do it,” she said. “It just seemed so big. I didn’t even know how to start it.”
Her husband, Eddie, who has been part of HELP since the first step, added “We had no idea what it would grow into.”
“I don’t know how it got so big so quick,” she said.
The Health Equipment Loan Program (HELP) gained traction soon after it began in early 2019, and now holds an impressive inventory of wheelchairs, walkers, hospital-style beds and bulk supplies which fills the Adams’ family’s porches, garages and other storage spaces. The equipment is delivered and provided free of any cost to disabled and elderly members of the local community.
“We need lift chairs a whole lot. We get calls for that all the time,” Adams said, quickly adding adult diapers are also in high demand. “They’re $12 a bag and insurance does not pay for them, or limits them.”
Supplies including hygiene items such as toothpaste, shampoos and soaps, toilet paper and laundry detergent are also welcomed. “Bulk would be good,” Adams said, noting they are happy to divide bulk supplies into smaller portions for HELP clients.
While HELP has a lot to offer to people in need, the program itself needs support to pay for expenses including office supplies, gasoline to deliver health-care equipment, postage and other costs now being paid by the Adams themselves. Adams is reaching out to the community to help keep HELP, which is a 501.(c)3 organization, in operation.
“We buy things they need like Band-Aids, shampoo, lift chairs, knee scooter, we have bought donuts to set on. We have bought toilet paper. We buy batteries for power chairs if we have money and business cards, flyers, getting copies … I could go on and on,” she said. “We pay for a lot but money is getting tighter.”
Adams explains HELP has tremendous personal value for herself.
“I’ve been sick all my life and I got worse when my son, Gary, died in 2014. After that, I sat in this chair and hardly moved. I had nothing to live for. I existed,” she said.
“This program has helped me more than other people because I’m alive now,” she said recalling a time when she had withdrawn from life, essentially hiding in her own home as her own health declined rapidly. “I gained weight and didn’t want people to see me. Now, I talk to everybody!”
“Oh yeah,” her husband confirmed with a soft chuckle.
For more information about HELP, visit the HELP Health Equipment Loan Program page on Facebook, or call 606-474-6423. Donations can be made @ paypal health equipmenthelp@gmail, or by check (payable to HELP, 1296 Damron Branch, Grayson KY 41143.
Story and Photos by TIM PRESTON