STONE MOUNTAIN, GA – For over 36 years, Friends of Disabled Adults and Children (FODAC) has helped people with injuries and disabilities of all ages regain their mobility, independence, and quality of life. The non-profit organization provides more than $10 million annually in refurbished home medical equipment (HME) and home modifications in Georgia and across the United States, all at little or no cost to the recipients. A pioneer in re-use, FODAC keeps 400 tons of materials out of landfills each year by refurbishing and reissuing over 700 DME items every month, and is recognized nationally for best practices.
FODAC has been the primary nonprofit partner of Medtrade for over 15 years. Medtrade encourages vendors to donate demo HME after each trade show to FODAC when return shipping costs does not make sense, creating a win-win to give back to our community who struggles to access HME through insurance or other benefits. Medtrade also recognizes FODAC’s national role in disaster relief and promotes a call out to manufacturers and vendors during large scale national disasters to donate needed HME that is identified by local and federal emergency managers. Many HME companies have donated to FODAC over our 36 years, the biggest being Invacare and Drive Medical.
FODAC has worked with local, state, and national emergency response partners since our involvement in Hurricane Katrina. As members of Georgia and National VOAD (Volunteer Agencies Active in Disasters), FODAC provides critical HME when local resources cannot assist.
How We Provide Disaster Relief
We have national vendor relationships that contribute needed items for disasters. We have delivered HME in 20 states and 3 territories to support disaster relief. Our 35,000 square foot warehouse serves as a distribution center for our partners, companies and organizations that are donating critical supplies. FODAC staff works with FEMA as “boots on the ground” to assist and manage donations of HME. “FODAC is considered an essential service during the COVID-19 crisis.”- Sarah Jackson, the Community Partnership Manager for GEMA.
Response Efforts In 2020 & 2021
In 2020 & 2021, FODAC served as a warehouse distribution site for partners and companies who wanted to donate PPE supplies. We provided nearly $4 million worth of N95 masks, ventilators, CPAPs, nebulizers, concentrators, tracheotomy supplies, hospital beds and PPE. Much needed equipment was delivered to Grady, Northside, Emory, Piedmont, and dozens of other hospitals in Georgia. We also provided supplies for GEMA statewide and FEMA to assist healthcare work.
What We Need for Hurricane Ida Response
We have been getting requests for HME from our Louisiana VOAD partners since FEMA cannot provide temporary HME. We’re asking Medtrade’s partner companies for donations of new or gently used standard and transport wheelchairs, powerchair batteries and chargers, hospital beds and shower equipment. For product donations, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. To support this effort financially, you can give at FODAC.org/donate/financial, select disaster relief from the pull-down menu.
Chris Brand is president and CEO of FODAC.