Local group collects medical equipment for veterans in need

The non-profit is looking for veterans.

MIDDLETON - The Disabled American Veterans Organization is need of your help. The non-profit started almost a hundred years ago with the mission to both help and support veterans and their families. The organization needs your help in finding veterans or their families who are in need of medical equipment.

“Right now I have six units ready to issue,” Sterling Mathis with Disabled American Veterans said.

It’s just a small portion of all the medical equipment the organization has to hand out to those who’ve served our country.

“We have so much. We have beds, we have chairs, we have power chairs, power scooters, walkers of numerous different kinds,” Mathis said.

All of it's part of the organization’s Older Veterans Assistance Program, or OVAP. The program takes donated medical equipment, fixes it up, and then gives it way to any veteran or veteran’s family member who may be in need.

“We'll clean them up, wipe them down, and make sure that they're all fully functional,” Mathis said.

Over the last few years, they’ve been able to help veterans like Ed James, who served our country for more than two decades.

“There was a couple where they actually gave us the option to choose from, which was even the better because some weren't very friendly for him,” Dylisaly Johnson, Ed James’ daughter said.

Johnson says she spent months trying to find an electric wheelchair for her dad with no resolution until they found OVAP.

“It was just so, so difficult, and it was such a run around,” Johnson said. “I was just glad that someone was actually able to be there to help, and give him some help that he needed after all that he'd done and he'd given.”

The program is now in a position where they have too much and need help finding those who need it.

“We've got so much equipment and it's all used, but it’s in good condition when we give it to you,” Mathis said.

In order to qualify for the program, you either have to be a veteran or a family member of a veteran.

“Even if you're a 10% or a 0% (disability), but with medical disabilities we'll help you if we can. That's our whole job is veterans helping veterans,” Mathis said.

If you’re a vet in need or a vet’s family member in need, or would like donate equipment, you can contact Sterling directly at 208-985-4404.

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