Quote: "The mission of St. Louis HELP is to provide metro St. Louis residents with virtually all types of home medical equipment by loaning it for free to anyone who needs it, including people recovering from accidents, disabilities, illness, surgery and people who are elderly or infirm."
Genie Guilliams is a high energy lady who wears many hats as a staff member for the not-for-profit St. Louis Health Equipment Lending Program (St. Louis HELP).
She is a talented multi-tasker with a big smile and a twinkle in her blue eyes.
"Manager" is probably her best known job title.
Genie toils as a contact for donors and as a route coordinator for St. Louis HELP's trucks; event coordinator for fundraisers and equipment donation drives; lunch planner for warehouse staffers and volunteers; and as St. Louis HELP archivist, researcher and writer of operations manuals.
With a career background working for nonprofit organizations - Genie served as a registered nurse and, also, as director of a private school association - she is well-suited for her multi-faceted role with St. Louis HELP.
Plus, she has good connections there - Genie's husband Dennis was the organization's founding president in 2008, and today he serves as a volunteer worker and fundraiser.
"I joke that when I joined St. Louis HELP in January 2015 they got two people in one," she says. "I love it and the great charitable work that we do."
The mission of St. Louis HELP is to provide metro St. Louis residents with virtually all types of home medical equipment by loaning it for free to anyone who needs it, including people recovering from accidents, disabilities, illness, surgery and people who are elderly or infirm.
"We assist hundreds of people every month and that is very gratifying," Genie says.
Since its origin in 2008 St. Louis HELP has loaned more than 51,000 home health items - for free - to people in all walks of life. They may keep the equipment they borrow for as long as needed. (http://www.stlhelp.org).
"We have a warehouse Olivette where we collect, clean and revitalize used and new equipment that people donate to us," Genie explains.
"Thankfully, we have a small, skilled staff that is extremely helpful, and we are lucky to have many talented volunteers - we couldn't survive without them," she says. "And our board of directors is very dedicated- we love every member!"
"No matter what type of home health item people may need - from the common to the esoteric - we probably have it. We loan manual and power wheelchairs, scooters, canes, crutches, walkers, shower chairs, grab bars, elevated toilet seats, portable commodes, lift chairs, seating cushions, back supports, folding ramps, stair lifts and almost any other type of medical device. Child-sized and super-sized items are also available."
"Thanks to an anonymous donor in St. Louis, we designated a private area in our warehouse for pediatric equipment. It provides privacy for children and their caregivers to try different items, such as wheelchairs and pediatric standers. We have seen growth in pediatric recipients as a result of this new space," Genie says.
"In addition, we opened The Women's Center in our warehouse to offer free loans of wigs, bras and prosthetic breasts for women who are victims of breast cancer."
"The Women's Center assists women who have suffered from cancer, related treatments or surgery keep their dignity and self-esteem with free loans of crucial items," says Genie, who is the mother of two daughters.
Genie and the St. Louis HELP staff, as well as volunteers, will be super busy on Saturday October 14, 2017, with the St. Louis HELP Home Health Equipment Donation Drive.
People can drop off any new or used home medical equipment they don't need at St. Louis HELP's lending warehouse, or at 15 designated Walgreen's parking lots in metro St. Louis.
All equipment donors will receive validation for a federal tax deduction. The event is 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at all designated locations.
For a list of drop-off locations please see list at bottom of this story or at the website http://www.stlhelp.org, or call 314-567-4700.
"We are implementing the vision, strategies and activities that our Executive Director Laura Cannon-Singer created when she founded St. Louis HELP in 2008," Genie points out.
"Laura is deeply committed to helping people and deeply committed to recycling. She joined both of those important elements into her vision for St. Louis HELP. That makes us part of a unique organization."
"Annually, we collect about 12,000 items of donated equipment," Genie continues. "We clean, recondition and revitalize it. Nothing goes to waste. Broken equipment parts are used for repairs. Broken wooden crutches are recycled to a wood chipper - what we can't use, we recycle."
"In this way we divert about 150 tons of equipment from solid waste landfills every year. You might say 'Recycling is us.'"
U.S. law regarding domestic re-use of some types of health equipment, including devices designed for single use, is a tangle of regulatory, medical, legal and economic issues. In dozens of foreign nations, however, regulations for importing and re-using many types of medical devices are less strict than in the U.S.
For this reason, St. Louis HELP is able to directly and indirectly provide much-needed home health equipment to various foreign countries, and also to partner with global humanitarian organizations such as MedShare that distribute reusable medical equipment around the world.
"It is amazing how St. Louis HELP came together almost ten years ago and has stayed together and done so much good for so many people," says Genie.
"That's a testament to the great people who work at our warehouse and volunteer with the organization, who serve on our board of directors, and who support us as donors," Genie says.
"St. Louis HELP is the only organization of its kind in the United States, and we are very proud."
If you would like to borrow or donate new or used home medical equipment, please call St. Louis HELP at 314 567 4700. For information please see the website http://stlhelp.org
You can donate your unused home medical equipment on October 14 at these designated Walgreens locations:
Loan Information for low income singles, families, seniors and disabled. Includes home, vehicle and personal loans.
Famous People with Disabilities - Well known people with disabilities and conditions who contributed to society.