WACO, TX — In 1978, the Waco Regional Baptist Association began the Health Equipment Loan Service. They would take donations of all types of durable medical equipment (DME) and then donate it to people who couldn't afford things like wheelchairs or hospital beds.
Pastor Greg Brumit joined the effort 18 years ago. He and his church, Kendrick Lane Baptist Church, would collect DME donations from the community and give them to those in need.
"There are people in need that the government wouldn't pay for it, social security or whatever so it was needed," Brumit said.
It would be impossible to count just how many wheelchairs and other items were given away by the church, but Brumit estimates the number would be in the hundreds.
"Only records I kept were in little notebooks, never kept a count I let the Lord take care of that," Brumit said.
The people making the phone calls to Brumit weren't always the ones with medical needs. In Casaundra Foreman's case, she was looking to help out her friend Lee, who was diagnosed with ALS. After weeks of searching, Foreman came across Brumit. With his help, she was able to secure a medical bed.
"It was just like a comfort to know we don't have to worry about these things, everything's taken care of," Foreman said.
The generosity inspired Foreman to return the favor.
"We in turn donated those shower chairs that we didn't need back to his organization. From my understanding it's an ongoing give and take you give a little you get a little," Foreman said.
This service is a give and take kind of organization, when Foreman doesn't need the hospital bed anymore for her friend she'll donate it back for someone else who needs it.
Brumit retired from his position as pastor at Kendrick Lane in February. The need for donations to the less fortunate wasn't going to go away, so it was time for him to pass the torch. Shutting down the service was not an option.
"It was just an important ministry that needed to be done by somebody," Brumit said. "It meets a need that they have and most of them are very grateful to get it."
That's where Faith in Action Initiatives comes in. The organization, associated with Baylor Scott & White, says the decision to get involved was easy.
"We absolutely love Pastor Greg, he has been a pillar in this community," Faith in Action manager Matthew Hoffman said. "For us to be able to come alongside his work and be able to carry that forward, what a privilege to be able to do that."
Those who have been touched by the DME donation effort, like Foreman, say it's a relief to see the tradition will continue.
"The less we have to worry about in this life the better," Foreman said.
If you have any DME that you are no longer using and would like to donate, Faith in Action will happily accept them. Details on how you can donate or volunteer are listed below:
FIAI Second Life Resource Center: 2911 Herring Ave., Waco
- Delivery hours: 8:00 AM to 3:30 PM (closed at noon for lunch)
- For more information, contact Matthew Hoffman at 254.202.2180