FARMINGTON — Crutches, walkers, wheelchairs and other medical equipment line the walls in the Holman Parish House at Old South Church on Main Street.

The lending closet, called Annie’s Beanpole, provides free use of the equipment for as long as needed. 

When members of Old South realized founder Betsy Judkins of Farmington was looking for someone to take over the service, they thought it would make a good ministry to the community, Chris Magri of the church’s Outreach, Justice & Witness Committee, said. It opened at Old South on Feb. 1.

Since starting Annie’s Beanpole in 2004, after her husband, Gearry, was in a serious automobile accident, Judkins ran it from her basement. Work, family and a growing inventory led her to turn it over to someone else.

She realized the difficulty faced by many families who may earn enough for insurance and co-pays but too little to pay for the medical equipment needed for recovery, she said. 

“Betsy named Annie’s Beanpole after her grandmother, Annie, who benefited from a similar community closet after she experienced a stroke, and for her husband, whose dream of growing beans up his no-longer needed crutches sustained him during his long recovery,” Magri said.

Those in need of items can call the church office at 778-0424 and a volunteer will return the call, he said.  People can pick out the items they need, sign a form and take them without any set date for return. 

“We ask that they keep them in good condition,” he said. “We understand some equipment may be needed for extended periods of time perhaps even a lifetime,” he said.

Annie’s Beanpole offers several kinds of crutches and walkers, hospital bed rails, wheelchairs, wheelchair ramps, shower seats, grab bars, tub rails, commodes and glucometers.

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