The Borrowing Cupboard is led by a volunteer board of directors who share a common passion for helping community members in need of mobility and home care equipment. Over the past year they've been working to transition the Borrowing Cupboard into a thriving, charitable non-profit organization with strong community partnerships.
We rely on community volunteers to respond to client requests, arrange for pick up and drop off of equipment, clean returned equipment , repair / maintain equipment and participate in fundraising events.
We're fortunate to have a strong partnership with the Lake of the Woods District Hospital and in particular, the professionals in the Rehabilitation Department. We also partner with local occupational therapists as well as Pinecrest, Birchwood and local senior housing facilities and organizations.
In early October 2020, the board of directors met to review the first full year of operation - fiscal year September 1, 2019 to August 31, 2020. We're pleased to report that we're in good financial health thanks to generous community funding and client donations. Although our operations were impacted by COVID-19 we continued to lend out mobility equipment while taking into consideration the health guidelines and restrictions implemented by the government of Ontario and the NWHU. We purchased new equipment in high demand categories [wheelchairs, walkers]. We broadened our communications with a new website, brochures and banners.
Download the full report for off-line viewing [PDF 2.8 MB].
The Borrowing Cupboard sprang from necessity - both personal and community. In 1983 Susan Treleaven, a single mother of three children facing health and mobility issues herself, found it difficult to find mobility equipment in the Kenora, ON area.
So she started The Borrowing Cupboard - a community hub for used equipment where people could borrow and donate needed equipment - and ran it out of her home until declining health forced her to step aside. The Borrowing Cupboard needed a new home.
Faced with limited office and storage options and a risk that The Borrowing Cupboard would cease operations altogether, a group of friends, clients and community supporters stepped in.
Space was found in the St. Joseph Medical Centre for equipment storage and a small office. Truckloads of equipment were moved and sorted. Office equipment was donated, shelves were built and the operation quietly idled while a new board of directors was formed.
Community partnerships were forged. Volunteers were recruited. Community outreach and fundraising efforts paid off and slowly but surely the operation rebounded with strong local support.
Our transition comes with new challenges and opportunities. New expenses force us to rethink how we fund operations while staying true to our vision of providing our services at no cost.
Increased awareness of The Borrowing Cupboard has uncovered deeper needs for mobility and home care equipment while at the same time inspiring volunteers and boosting equipment donations. Our transition to charitable non-profit status will help us with fundraising efforts.
We look forward to remaining a vital service provider to the community in the future.