It's only been a year since the doors of ReStore Health & Home opened in Davenport, and the store's managers continue to celebrate the "win-win" business.
Health & Home is a division of Habitat ReStore, and it's an operation that caters to those who thoughtfully recycle medical equipment and supplies as well as exercise equipment.
In a "pay it forward" format, donations are taken from the public and then re-sold to people who most often need the affordable items to care for a loved one.
During the first year, Health & Home transferred about 12 tons of medical equipment and supplies from people who no longer needed them to others who were happy to find great deals on items such as walkers, wheelchairs, bath benches and paper products, said Cindy Kuhn, the director of Habitat ReStore.
Proceeds from the sales support the work of Habitat for Humanity-Quad-Cities.
The goods distributed often help improve a patient's quality of life, said Beth Laureijs, who co-manages the store with Mary Slutz. An example would be a man who had trouble putting on socks: He obtained an assistance device to solve that problem.
"There is a need in the community and we get very positive feedback from our customers," Laureijs added.
The co-managers said their expectations have evolved over a year's time. At first, Slutz said, it was thought that major equipment would be the big seller. But it turns out that most people are interested in smaller items such as paper products, which include bed pads, incontinence items and bath aids like a bathing bench.
While most of the store's inventory is in medial equipment and supplies, there are also exercise and fitness items for sale such as treadmills and bikes.
All items are cleaned and inspected. Minor repairs are made if needed. Unsafe equipment is scrapped.
The store does not take items that need to be calibrated, such as a CPAP Machine — a device that helps those with sleep apnea. A big batch of syringes that came in was donated to overseas missions.
The Health & Home staff is impressed by the store's customers.
"Our admiration has grown for the tireless family members who go to great lengths, with limited resources, to care for a loved one," Kuhn said.
"We are impressed by the perseverance of persons with mobility challenges and those who assist them. We are happy to have been a part of their solutions," she added.