ST. LOUIS, MO/March 23, 2017 (STL.News) Richard Kilzer, master of the Overland Farmers Market in Overland, Missouri, suffered a debilitating fall last year that landed him in a hospital followed by weeks of physical therapy.
The accident sidelined his activities with the open-air market he has managed since 2009 — until he discovered the St. Louis Health Equipment Lending Program (St. Louis HELP), a nonprofit group that loans home health equipment for free to anyone.
“I thought I was done for after that fall because I had both knees replaced a few years ago and the fall put me back at square one — I tried a cane to get around but it wasn’t working for me.”
“I simply couldn’t get around at the market anymore, or anyplace else.”
When a friend told him about St. Louis HELP and contacted its Executive Director Laura Cannon-Singer, Kilzer’s concerns soon disappeared.
Thanks to St. Louis HELP, Kilzer now uses a motorized scooter that enables him to continue dealing with vendors who offer fresh, locally produced vegetables and bakery goods, sweet Missouri honey, original arts and crafts and hot food at the market every Saturday morning from May through October. He also scoots around the 24-stall market to visit with visitors, shoppers and performing musicians.
“I don’t know where I’d be without St. Louis HELP and the scooter that they loaned me“, says Kilzer, who is President of the Overland Farmers Market Association and member of the Overland Business Association. He assumed the pro bono job after retiring from a career in banking.
“I am extremely grateful and I endorse St. Louis HELP to all my friends as a great organization that makes a positive impact in metro St. Louis.”
St. Louis HELP is a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization that freely loans manual and power wheelchairs, scooters, canes, crutches, walkers, shower chairs, grab bars, elevated toilet seats, portable commodes, lift chairs, cushions, back supports, folding ramps and other home health devices. Child-sized and super-sized items are available.
Since its was founded in 2008 St. Louis HELP has loaned more than 50,000 home health items — for free — to people suffering from accidents, disabilities, and illnesses or for any reason.
St. Louis HELP also maintains The Women’s Center at its warehouse in Olivette to offer free loans of wigs, bras and prosthetic breasts for women who are victims of breast cancer.
In addition, St. Louis HELP maintains a private area for free loans of pediatric equipment. It provides privacy for children and their caregivers to try out items, such as small wheelchairs and pediatric standers.
St. Louis HELP collects, cleans and revitalizes used home health equipment for free loans to people suffering from accidents, illness or disability.
Virtually every type of home medical device is accepted by St. Louis HELP, which restores the equipment at its warehouse in St. Louis County. Donated items that cannot be used are recycled by St. Louis HELP.
“We accept donations of every type of item except oxygen and medications,” said Laura Cannon-Singer, who founded the not-for-profit organization in 2008.
St. Louis HELP will host a Home Health Equipment Donation Drive on Saturday, May 6, 2017, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. “Mark your calendars,” says Kilzer.
Equipment drop-off locations will include St. Louis HELP’s lending warehouse in Olivette, and also in parking lots at 14 Walgreen’s designated stores in metro St. Louis. For information, see the website http://www.stlhelp.org or call (314) 567-4700.
For info about the Overland Farmers Market, which has 24 stalls in a covered pavilion with electrical power and free parking at 2512 Woodson Road in Overland one mile north of Page Avenue, visit http://www.overlandfarmersmarket.com.