Serving the Grays Harbor community, North Beach Medical Equipment is a donation-based 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to helping those in need since 2013. The best part? There are no copays, paperwork, or waiting for insurance approval. Everything is completely free to those who need it for as long as it’s needed, and the nonprofit is the only one of it’s kind in Grays Harbor County.
Access to Free Medical Equipment in Grays Harbor
As of January 2024, founder and president Rich Lindquist estimates that he’s helped over 21,000 people receive medical supplies, ranging from large mobility items such as walkers, wheelchairs, and knee scooters, to everyday medical supplies and incontinence needs. “Just come in and tell me what you need,” says Lindquist. His years of experience allows him to help clientele determine the right kind of equipment they need, show them how to use it safely, and what the equipment can or cannot do.
There is no time limit on how long you can use an item – all Lindquist asks is that you bring the item back once it’s no longer useful. However, customers are also encouraged to pay it forward. “If your neighbor slips and falls the same day you were planning to bring back a wheelchair, give the wheelchair to your neighbor,” Lindquist says. “We want to make sure people are taken care of.” It’s all about people helping people.
The ability of clients to walk-in and leave with the medical equipment they need right away is an unparalleled service, or better yet, being able to take an item home and try it out without having to purchase it out-of-pocket. “After my motorcycle accident in 2021, my insurance covered a leased wheelchair. However, we had to drive to three different supply locations in Seattle and Tacoma to find the one they’d reserved, and it ended up being out of stock, so I had to use an ill-fitting chair that was too wide to fit into the doorways of my house,” says repeat client Taylor Ramsey. “I was able to go to North Beach Medical Equipment and find a wheelchair that fit both me and my doorways.”
Donated Medical Equipment Always in Need in Grays Harbor
Unfortunately, being donation-based, Lindquist doesn’t always have the equipment patrons require. That doesn’t stop him from providing the best service he can, whether it’s calling around to others to see what equipment they have available, putting clients on a waitlist, or suggesting similar equipment that will work until the correct item is donated. “You help the person in front of you, the best you can, with what you have at that time,” he says.
Safety is North Beach Medical Equipment’s highest priority. As a trained mechanic, Lindquist uses his gained knowledge and experience to fix, inspect, and clean the donated medical equipment. He also takes it one step further, offering maintenance and service free of charge to anyone in the community, regardless of where the equipment is from. “We want that tool to provide the service they need it for,” he says, stating that they often have people come in needing maintenance on equipment that’s missing parts such as bolts or screws, moments away from collapsing. That’s his personal motto, “If I wouldn’t give it to my mom to use, I’m not going to give it to you.”
Donations of larger items such as commodes, shower chairs and benches and mobility items are always in demand. However, one of the most desired items is adult pull-on underwear, such as Depends, in all sizes. NBME gives out thousands of packages a year and is always needing more. The stigma and possible embarrassment for clients needing these items often prevents them from both requesting and donating them. However, Lindquist says there’s nothing to be embarrassed about. These items allow you to keep living your best life the way you want to, he says, similar to someone with bad eyesight needing to wear glasses.
Lindquist and his wife, Nancy, try to keep potential donors appraised of what they currently need via Facebook. Often, this is monetary donations in addition to medical equipment. “It’s quite expensive being free,” Lindquist says. Donations can be made in person or on their website. All donations are tax deductible.
Linquist encourages those wanting to donate medical equipment to call first at 360.289.3733 to make sure they can use all the items you are donating.
North Beach Medical Equipment
899 Point Brown Ave NW, Ocean Shores