BALDWINSVILLE — After nearly 100 years of lending medical equipment to Baldwinsville residents in need, the Female Charitable Society is looking for a new home for its loan closet.
The FCS loan closet contains over 3,100 pieces of medical equipment such as canes, hospital beds and wheelchairs, available to residents of the Baldwinsville Central School District for temporary use. The loan closet program began in 1928. The closet was closed for about eight months in 2020 after a fire damaged one of its buildings.
“Outgrowing our current space is a good problem to have. We are so fortunate to have a robust inventory but need a larger and better configured space to continue to meet the needs of Baldwinsville,” said FCS President Bonnie Kisselstein.
The society’s two buildings are located on River Street in the village of Baldwinsville.
“10 River St. is the main building, with a reception area, office space, storage for high demand medical equipment, and an area for cleaning and sanitizing equipment prior to return to storage,” said FCS member MaryAnne Williams. “14-16 River St. houses a repair shop, large items such as beds, and additional equipment.”
According to Williams, 373 residents borrowed equipment from the loan closet in 1998. By 2018, the number of borrowers had quadrupled to 1,500.
“Not only are we at capacity in these buildings, moving inventory between two non-connected buildings is a challenge and the entrance to 14-16 is not at ground level,” Williams said.
The FCS is asking the community for help in finding — and funding — a new location. Ideally, the society is looking for a single-story building that is at least 3,000 square feet or a parcel of land on which it can construct a new building.
The society is hoping to find a location within the village of Baldwinsville. Parking and accessibility are also important considerations.
If you have information about a potential location or parcel, email [email protected]
Founded in 1817, the Female Charitable Society is one of the nation’s oldest charitable organizations run primarily by women. Membership is open to people of any age or gender, and annual dues are $5. To learn more, visit femalecharitablesociety.com and click “Join Us.”
“We also support local nutrition programs, therapeutic services, and individual special needs ranging from prescriptions to hot water heaters. Our mission is to quietly meet the needs of our community,” Williams said.