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FREE Foundation for Rehabilitation Equipment and Endowment

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Community Health Systems, Health, Health Care, Home Health Care, Human Service Organizations, Human Services

Mission: F.R.E.E. acquires and provides mobility-related rehabilitation equipment to maximize functional independence and improve quality of life.

Results: Since 1999, F.R.E.E. has served more than 18,500 people with 29,000 devices valuing $9.3 million if purchase new and a medical cost savings of more than $180 million to Virginia. In 2020, F.R.E.E.'s clients reported the following outcomes: 91% Greater Functional Independence 96% Decrease Falls (1,403 before reduced to ONLY 60) 96% Decrease ER visits (1,073 before reduced to ONLY 44) 97% Decrease Hospital Re-admissions (1,194 before reduced to ONLY 37) 98% Remained living safely at home. *739 Individuals stated without F.R.E.E.’s services they would have been prematurely displaced from their homes.

Target demographics: adults with disabilities and low-iincomes

Direct beneficiaries per year: 2261

Geographic areas served: Virgina

Programs: F.R.E.E. has six programs across Virginia located in Lynchburg, North Shenadoah Valley, Richmond, Roanoke, South Hampton Roads, and Williamsburg. F.R.E.E. collects and gifts durable medical equipment like wheelchairs, walkers, rollators, canes, crustches, shower chairs, hoyer lifts, grab bars, bedside commodes, and raised toilet seats to improve functional independence. F.R.E.E. takes in donated mobility related rehab equipment, sanitizes and refurbishes it and gives it to those in the community, who need it but cannot afford it. This equipment helps recipients maximize their functional independence and improve their quality of life. F.R.E.E. qualifies these individuals based on medical and financial need so not duplicate services. According to local healthcare providers, there are on average 1 in 3 adults returning home from stroke, spinal cord injury, brain injury and other serious illnesses or accidents without equipment needed to recover. This significantly limits their ability to be mobile, productive and independent in their communities. This impacts not only the underserved individuals, but also their families and the community they live and work in. People who go without needed mobility rehabilitation equipment fall more often. When they fall, they wind up in emergency rooms, hospitals, nursing homes and assisted living facilities. They lose their mobility and their independence. If they are uninsured or underinsured the communities that they live in, the healthcare systems that serve them and the local and state governments that provide services to them all bear the cost of their loss. When F. R. E. E. gifts equipment, falls drop by OVER 80%. This results in equally dramatic drops (80%) in ER visits, hospital re-admissions and transfers to expensive nursing homes and assisted living facilities. Those in need regain their mobility and independence and virginians save millions of dollars annually. Based on these outcomes, on established estimates for hospitalizations and ER visits due to falls, on expected lengths of stay and facility costs, F.R.E.E. has revised our ROI model that projects that for every $1 invested in F.R.E.E., F.R.E.E. gives back over $70 in equipment and healthcare cost savings to the communities it serves.

Community Stories

14 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1 Sara Dryer R.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As a Physical Therapist and Board member I have been fortunate to witness and facilitate the independence that FREE provides individuals through medical equipment that they otherwise couldn’t afford. It is amazing to see the improvement and excitement in my patients as they reclaim their physical function and mobility. I am truly honored to work with this team and to have the opportunity to be a part of this wonderful mission.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My 35 now 36 year old son was looking for help with his sudden onset of health problems. He had trouble breathing, dizziness, etc. Finally was diagnosed with a large blood clot in his left lung. During surgery to remove the blood clot, his heart stopped for 16 minutes. He was on life support, etc. We were advised to terminate all care. His wife said no. She wanted to give him a chance. He is now improving every day, although has a long way to go, and the FREE Foundation has been so helpful in helping him become more independent. Once I heard of this organization, I contacted them and they have been non-stop help since. To see the smile on my son's face when he is able to use his power wheelchair on his good days is immeasurable, not to mention ALL the other things they have donated to us, potty seat, regular wheelchair, transfer to bath table. Without them I do not know what we would have done. Kudos to Diane, at our local FREE office in Williamsburg, Virginia. She is kind, compassionate, understanding, and loves her job helping people. Thanks again!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am an Occupational Therapist and Case Manager, and I have been working with the FREE Foundation for over 8 years. The FREE Foundation has allowed for so many of my patients to have equipment that they would not have been able to afford otherwise, and given them and their families the independence they need to return home. This is a wonderful organization!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I needed a walker that could support me because of my height and frozen shoulder. I needed a walker with forearm extension, and my insurance would not cover it and I was unable to afford the cost. Someone told me about the Free foundation in Richmond and to contact Lisa.
Lisa was very knowledgeable and she show patience when I try to explain to her what I needed. She mailed me an application which I received in a timely manner and I mailed it back and had my walker in no time. Now I am can can walk in confort without having to worry about losing my balance.

2

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I'm an Occupational Therapist working in home health for the past several years. When I have a patient in need with no other resources I often refer to the FREE location in Richmond. Lisa Soto has been a joy to work with. She is very responsive and friendly. The equipment provided has made a big difference for those in need. Thanks for everything.

1 Lauren F.5

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As an occupational therapy student completing my clinicals, the Free Foundation has taught me how generosity, accessibility, and kindness can give those who need it a chance at independence and mobility! Truly a great resource for the community!

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The free foundation is a wonderful organization, i recommend it personally as well as professionally - it truly is a wonderful asset to our community !!!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

My therapist provided me with an awesome shower chair that has come in so handy after my foot surgery. She taught me how to properly walk up and down the stairs. It’s the little things that we take for granted every day. With her positive attitude I was able to gain my confidence back post surgery! Thank you!

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Wonderful and the BEST Foundation that has smiling faces and a team / network of assistance that helps Virginians obtain needed equipment.

The various types of equipment helps the clients in getting back into the community and staying safe in their homes with less falls and less injuries since they get the equipment that they could not obtain otherwise. Many clients are served across the state through this foundation. I've been associated with this Foundation for over 20 years.

I highly RECOMMEND.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

The Foundation for Rehab Equipment and Endowment has helped my patients for the last 20 years get medical equipment for the home to assist them with their mobility needs. The equipment provided makes the client more independent in their home and safer decreasing their fall risk. I volunteer weekly at this organization matching up equipment with the application and when clients receive the equipment it’s like giving them the best Christmas present ever! They are so appreciative of the items they receive giving us a genuine thank you and sometimes even shedding a tear. I even convinced my son to make his Eagle Scout project for FREE. He built organization racks for the walkers, canes, crutches, and wheelchair cushions and these keep our storage building so organized. This is one of the best organization in Roanoke to volunteer with as you are making the community a safer place to live.

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

Having volunteered with FREE for many years now, I have seen firsthand the need for the life-changing mobility equipment that FREE provides to under- and uninsured Virginians. One only has to look to FREE's growth throughout Virginia over the years to see how great the demand is for this mobility equipment that allows people to remain in or return to their homes, and provides them with a level of independence. I've also referred several people who needed mobility equipment to FREE, and have consistently received very positive feedback from those clients regarding the compassion, attention to detail, and professionalism exhibited by FREE's professional staff.

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

I first became involved with FREE as a therapist. Being able to provide my patients with needed equipment that they would otherwise be unable to obtain was so satisfying. And witnessing the delight and gratitude from these people was heartwarming.
The staff at FREE seemed as happy to provide the equipment as my patients were to receive it.

I have since become a member of the advisory board, and now have seen the full scope of services provided by this wonderful organization. A truly remarkable service provider!

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have been working side by side with the ladies at the free foundation over 10 years now to get my patients items that they desperately need. These ladies and this foundation go out of their way to provide people in our community items they need that will help keep them safe and at home! This foundation is such an asset to the community and these women that work for the free foundation do it with such heart! I really truly don't know where my patients would be without this foundation and these ladies!

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

My lens of the FREE Foundation originates from behind the scenes, seeing firsthand, the character, integrity, commitment, work-ethic, and genuine love for the people FREE serves each and everyday. The common thread that has stitched this incredible organization together is the heart and care every employee and/or volunteer has for someone in need. I have watched them drive hundreds of miles for a single piece of equipment that would change someone's life. I have seen the smile and happy tears when a grandmother calls or writes to say that for the first time in many years, she was able to go to her grandson's baseball game using the equipment she was gifted by FREE.

This amazing service to people happens because of the highly capable, hard-working team that is the DNA of FREE. And every one of them shares the same caliber of smiles and satisfaction as those they serve when another person is helped and enabled.

I have served on several Board's over the years, but there isn't another organization as professional, capable, and caring as this one....and I am humbled to serve with them.