Red Cross needs volunteers for equipment loan service

The Abbotsford Red Cross, which distributes medical equipment locally, temporarily shut its doors for the first time Saturday due to a lack of volunteers.

Red Cross coordinator Peg Wenting says the local medical equipment distribution centre is facing more closures if volunteers can’t be found.

Red Cross coordinator Peg Wenting says the local medical equipment distribution centre is facing more closures if volunteers can’t be found.

The Abbotsford Red Cross, which distributes medical equipment locally, temporarily shut its doors for the first time Saturday due to a lack of volunteers.

Co-ordinator Peg Wenting is worried that permanent closures, two to three days a week, are next.

“If we don’t have people to serve the clients, then we just can’t open the doors,” she said.

Located at 2316 McCallum Rd., the depot loans out equipment such as walkers, wheel chairs and crutches to individuals who have received a requisition from a doctor, nurse or occupational therapist. The equipment is loaned out at no cost or by donation for up to three months.

While there is another depot on McCallum, that one specializes in long-term disability.

Wenting’s location typically has about 30 volunteers with an open availability. That number has recently dropped to approximately 15 to 20.

“We’ve been trying different ways of getting volunteers and have even tried Craigslist,” said Wenting. “We try word of mouth and telling friends of friends, but we seem to have run out of all our friends.”

The clinic needs four volunteers a day for six days a week, as it’s open Monday to Saturday from 11 a.m.-1 p.m.

It’s preferred that volunteers only work one day a week. Due to low numbers, that’s increased to two to three shifts.

The jobs range from greeting customers to cleaning equipment.

According to Wenting, no experience is necessary as training is offered.

A two-page application form is available at the depot. An interview and police check would follow.

For more information, call 604-556-3526.