Packing supplies for the trip

Gathering Equipment and Supplies

Below are some suggestions for how to go about gathering donated equipment and supplies. A list of needed supplies can be found at the bottom of the page.

1. Conference events

Conference venders frequently give out samples or promotional items such as lip balm, lotion, nail files, hand sanitizer, stress balls, etc. Most venders are more than willing to give a bit extra when told about the innovative project you are involved in.

2. Contacting supply company sales representatives

Supply companies often have items that have been discontinued and replaced by the newer editions. These items are perfect donations. And because equipment is tax deductible through the Jessie F. Richardson Foundation, there is an extra incentive for the company to donate to this particular project.

3. Retailers that sell pharmaceuticals/self-care supplies/arts & crafts

For tax incentive, many retailers are open to donating items for local projects and good causes (suggested businesses to solicited: Trader Joes, Fred Meyers, Whole Foods, New Seasons, and smaller neighborhood retailers). When approaching a retailer, arrive prepared with a donation letter (see example PDF | Word Document). Ask for the person in charge of donations. Give them a brief synopsis of the project, and a copy of the needed items. Some places may have a short application you can fax back. Make sure to emphasis the tax deduction.

4. Field work sites

While doing clinical rotations, take advantage of the resources practitioners may be able to access for this project. Have a copy of the donation letter available when you talk about the project you are participating in, and ask clinical co-workers if they know of any available resources that con be contributed.

5. Craig's List

Many people are looking to dispose of durable medical equipment they no longer have a use for. Frequently this equipment is available inexpensively or for free because people are eager to clear space in their homes. Additionally, the seller may be willing to donate the item after hearing about how the equipment will be assisting elders abroad. Make scanning Craig's list, or other such listings, part of your daily routine.

6. Yard sales & estate sale

Keep your eyes open for sales where you may find discounted equipment. Reviewing the newspaper is an efficient way to find sales where durable equipment is no longer needed. Once again, sellers may be willing to donate items upon hearing about the project.

7. Send letters to friends, family, community, members

Send personal letters inviting people to contribute via email and snail mail to everyone you know. Below is a list of needed items for the project. You never know what people have hiding in their attics. Additionally, ask these people to continue distributing the letters to people they know. It is important to tailor your letters to known potential resources, but by distributing the information to everyone, you may be able to tap into unknown resources. Remember to include easily accessible contact information on the letter such as your name, email, and phone number.

8. Contact Individuals who travel often

These individuals frequently have items on hand from hotel rooms such as shampoo, cream rinse, soaps, and lotion.

Here is a list of some of our needed supplies:

Self-Care Supplies

Therapy Equipment

Therapeutic Activity Supplies


Combs, brushes,

dandruff shampoo


Jewelry making supplies

Antibacterial ointments

Toothpaste, mouthwash, dental floss

Foam for built up handles

Sensory stimulation materials & sensory activity supplies

Ambisol or Oralgel

(for dental pain)

Hand/body lotion & lip balm

Magnifiers & low vision aids

Sewing supplies

Artificial tears

Nail clippers, nail files,

Modified dishes & utensils

Wood working equipment

Epsom salts

Nail polish $ remover

Wheelchair cushions

Painting supplies

Liquid hand-sanitizer

Baby wipes

Contrast tape

Clay/putty sculpting materials

Athlete's foot ointment

Cotton balls/cotton swabs

Wheeled walkers & canes

Musical instruments

Cough syrup

Hair cutting scissors/razors

Dynamometer & pinch meter

Bird feeder materials

Sinus & allergy medicine

Band aids

Long-handled reachers

Puzzles, cards


Hair bands


Craft kits