All this, for $40! (No, not the printer, it’s just holding the icing machine.)


I’m having major surgery in a few weeks, and while trying to snag a few post-op resources, I came across an incredible community resource.

This ain’t my first rodeo with surgeries (it will be my sixth knee surgery.) (No, not all on the same knee!) I was hoping to save some money by finding crutches, a walker, and a knee-icing machine ahead of time. (I knew we kept some of this stuff from my last surgery, but we can’t find it. So it’s not just me, my husband can’t remember, either!)

I tried NextDoor to ask if anyone had crutches I could borrow or buy, and got a couple offers. I took one up, but complications occurred. Meanwhile, someone recommended a resource here in Santa Rosa called Medical Equipment Recycling Program. And it is jaw-droppingly good!

It’s a pop-up operation at 3000 Dutton Avenue in Santa Rosa. (It’s confusing to get there, and Google Maps doesn’t have it figured out yet. It’s the driveway further north of the Amy’s Kitchen complex (the food people). In fact, you’ll have better luck using “American Storage” as your destination. It’s in their parking lot!

Most thrift shops will not accept medical equipment. They take up too much space. So most equipment eventually goes to the landfill.

This agency accepts donations, sanitizes the equipment, then they GIVE IT AWAY to anyone who needs it. For free. (Donations accepted, of course. I gave them a total of $40 for a walker, crutches, and an ice-cooling machine, and they were thrilled!) Your equipment donations give them inventory, and your $$$ donations allow them to rent the storage containers they use at American Storage.

They are only open 11am to 2pm on Wednesdays. But the transaction is quick, the volunteers are friendly and helpful, and I’ll be donating my equipment back to them as soon as I can.

If you live in Sonoma County, please help spread the word! And if you don’t have such a resource in your own community, Google “medical equipment recycling program” to find other organizations and rescources, and information on how to get a program started in your community!

Save money, reduce trash, save the environment. And be a force for good in the world!

Author: Luann Udell

I find it just as important to write about my art as to make it. I am fascinated by stories. You can tell when people are speaking their truth--their eyes light up, their voices become strong, their entire body posture becomes powerful and upright. I love it when people get to this place in their work, their relationships, their art. As I work from this powerful place in MY heart, I share this process with others--so they have a strong place to stand, too. Because the world needs our beautiful art. All of it we can make, as fast as we can! Whether it's a bowl, a painting, a song, a garden, a story, if it makes our world a better place, we need to do everything in our power to get it out there.


  1. Wishing you a gentle surgery and recovery, Luann!

    Antonia Nelson

    “We need to stop just pulling people out of the river. We need to go upstream and find out why they’re falling in.” Desmond Tutu


  2. Thank you SO MUCH for passing along this great resource!! In the wake of my back surgery, I have crutches, a walker, and an electromagnetic bone growth stimulator belt which will now be made available for use rather than adding to the waste stream!!!

    May your surgery go well–and be the ONE that ends the need for further surgeries! Please let me know if I can help–errand runs? loading laundry? walking dog (yes, my back is healed enough that I’m able to walk my 55 lb., rambunctious (tho mostly well trained) Wookiee dog,) anything else that would be useful as you rehab.

    Gratefully, Nicole


    1. Nicole, you are so kind! Thank you for the good wishes, I’m hoping it’s the last one for the knees, too, but simply keeping me informed about Art Trails would be wonderful. I hope I’m healed enough to participate, but even if I’m not, I will not be asking for my fee back. I just may need a volunteer assignment I can do sitting down! 😎


  3. My best wishes for a speedy recovery. I’ve started my own little collection in the basement after last year’s (successful) surgery.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Michael, thank you, hoping your words will tip the scale to the positive! So glad your collection is in the basement because that means you aren’t using them right now. 🥴


  4. Luann, hello! This is a great program! I will share this with Sandy, who still lives in Warner, NH and they have a group where they can ask for things they need, but not medical equipment. When I wanted to donate my mom’s equipment, I was told that Medicare provided for free, but if a person was notbold enough, then they had to pay. Massachusetts was the same, and a bunch of us opened a free clinic in a parish house and the priest told me that we weren’t allowed to accept donated equipmen t, but if anyone just quietly left a bed or wheelchair behind his house, he would “ dispose”:of it properly, where needed. It’s so different in every state! Heal well from your surgery! Kay

    Liked by 1 person

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