By Anne Marie Amacher
The Catholic Messenger
DAVENPORT —Donations of new or gently used assistive equipment were dropped off at St. Ambrose University’s Center for Health Sciences Education during its spring drive April 17-21.
Anne Lansing, occupational therapy department academic advisor, said this is the fourth donation drive. It is held each spring and fall, she noted. Items donated included shower chairs, walkers, dressing sticks, sock aides, wheelchairs, walkers and other assistive technology devices. The equipment is used at St. Ambrose’s assistive technology lab at Jim’s Place and at the university’s College of Health and Human Services Interprofessional Clinic.
“Occupational therapists focus on helping people engage in their meaningful occupations of life … the activities of daily living that occupy their time during the day. This might include self-care activities, leisure activities, social engagement with others, driving, mobility and many others daily activities,” Lansing said. “Our mission within the Occupational Therapy Department at St. Ambrose is occupational justice, which means that everyone has the right to engage in the occupations of life that they need and want to do. This program is just one way that we are carrying out that mission.”
Lansing noted that the OT department helps serve the community by providing equipment people need to be more independent, mobile or engaged in the activities they want to do. This is particularly important for the underserved.
“We are thankful for the equipment that has been donated in our last three equipment drives. We have a generous and socially conscious community. We are very lucky here in the Quad Cities. This is a much needed program and we feel grateful to be able to provide this service.”
During this most recent drive, the department received 25 donations, including wheeled and standard walkers, wheelchairs, grab bars and bed canes. “We have already redistributed some of the equipment to individuals in our community,” Lansing said. Some clients may need an item for only a short time, so equipment and devices that are returned can be used by other clients.
Margaret Babbitt, director of annual giving in the university’s Advancement Office, said she donated items after a family member died. “I didn’t know what to do with the items. I didn’t want to throw them away.” This is a way to honor the memory of a loved one and help others in the community, Babbitt noted.