The recession has been hard on so many people - especially those who need costly medical equipment.
The good news is that the big white church on the lawn in Clinton - First Church of Christ Congregational, has a new program that offers medical equipment such as walkers, canes and crutches to those who need it - for free.
David Rainey wrote the grant that provided $2,000 to kick-start the program.
"The grant came through the Connecticut Conference of United Church of Christ through the Frank E. White Charitable Trust," explains Rainey. "In order to qualify, it had to be a new, community outreach program of a small church."
Rainey said the Mission Committee of the church put their heads together and brainstormed the idea. They had heard of Charlie's Closet in Guilford and other similar programs such as the one in Rainey's mother's church.
"There is nothing like this in Clinton," he added.
The $2,000 goes towards purchasing needed items for the program - not for salaries or anything like that, he said. Everyone who works on the program is a volunteer.
Bruce Lighty is the program coordinator along with about a dozen volunteers, said Rainey.
There was much work to do to get started: space needed to be found and tidied at the church, donations needed to be sanitized, and the church's phone system had to be reprogrammed to accept calls for the program. Plus the group had to get the word out to folks in Clinton.
Volunteer Sarah Marcinek said they have wheelchairs, commodes, various styles of walkers, shower benches, canes, and crutches. Everything is clean and ready to go to their new owner - for free.
"If you need something for just a short time, you can always return it so another person can use it," she said.
The volunteers will accept donations of gently-used equipment, as well.
To use the program, call the church at 860-669-5735 and ask to leave a message on the Medical Equipment Loan Program's line, or press the corresponding number to leave a message after-hours.
"Volunteers check the messages and will return calls within 24 hours," said Marcinek. "If we have it, we'll let you know it and you can come pick it up."