Monthly Online Magazine
by and for those with MS
Issue 149, February 2012
Tables of Contents
Our Pride &Joy!
Playing this page: He Ain't Heavy
The Daily Herald - Your article ran in today's paper....
Your article and ad ran in today’s paper, I thought you’d like to know. I am sending you a PDF file of the page so that you can save it in your files.
Have a great week!
Herald | P.O.Box 930 | Everett, WA
‘Best secret in Edmonds’ should be well-known
When Bill Brayer first began collecting and distributing
used medical equipment for people
with multiple sclerosis, he thought it was a
personal project that would last a few months. At least,
that’s what he told his wife when the couple discovered
their garage was so full they could no longer use it.
That was 12 years ago. Now Brayer’s project, better
known as Donor Closet, is no longer in his garage. After
juggling an increasing number of storage units, totaling
2,400 square feet at last count, the nonprofit moved
into warehouse space behind Petosa’s Family Grocer in
Edmonds. It now takes up 7,500 square feet. Some is
warehouse and some is workshop, but all of that space is
Donor Closet collects, refurbishes and distributes
durable medical equipment and mobility equipment to
people in need in return for a minimum suggested donation.
The service is no longer limited to those with MS.
Anyone in need can apply. Many of the people who
come to Donor Closet have fallen through the cracks of
social services such as Medicare, Medicaid or private
The organization is unique in that it runs full-time yet
it is 100 percent staffed by volunteers. No one takes a
salary. “There is no other operation like this in the country,”
Brayer said. Suggested minimum donations, grants
and other fund-raising pays for the operating costs while
25 or more people donate their hours to ensure the
organization remains intact.
Brayer himself donates 60 to 65 working hours a
week. Although the 78-year-old downplays his own
involvement, it’s an impressive contribution from someone
who had to retire from his business in 1998 due to
Brayer knows all about MS. He has suffered from
the disease for 58 years. When he retired, he founded
Multiple Sclerosis Community Services, later renamed
MS Helping Hands.
When a woman in one of Brayer’s support groups
passed away, her parents asked him to find someone in
need who could use the woman’s medical equipment.
He sent out an email to the people in his address book.
“Within an hour I had so many hits for that equipment
you wouldn’t believe it,” Brayer said.
That was the beginning. Soon he started getting
emails from other people who had used equipment
they hoped he would redistribute to others in need.
There were hospital beds, wheelchairs, scooters, canes,
commodes, lifts and much more. That was how Donor
Closet was born.
Most of the donated items are in perfect condition.
Others need a little tweaking here and there to make
them as good as new. Volunteers refurbish the equipment
and make sure it’s ready to go to a new home.
An almost new van was donated to help with the
transport of the equipment. A Boeing grant of $47,000
paid for a new Dodge Sprinter van and an additional
$10,000 from Boeing replaced the old unsafe wooden
shelving in the warehouse and replaced it with new
metal shelving that is secured to the wall and won’t tip
over in an earthquake.
The organization is essentially self-sufficient thanks
to generous donators. Any money left over from the
Donor Closet goes into a financial assistance fund to
help pay bills for people with MS who are experiencing
It’s not surprising that the organization has received
many awards, both locally and nationally, for its humanitarian
services. It has also been the focus of many
news stories. Nevertheless, Brayer sometimes refers to
Donor Closet as “the best secret in Edmonds.” He hopes
it won’t remain a secret. He wants people to know they
are there whether those people need equipment for
themselves or are looking to donate it to others.
“We hope people will donate money, but what is
more important is time,” Brayer said. He would like to
see more people get involved and perhaps even take a
seat on the organization’s board.
To learn more about the Donor Closet or MS Helping
Hands, see www.mshelp.org or call 425-712-1807. Donor
Closet is located at 409 Howell Way in Edmonds and is
open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
Donor Closet, operated
by the nonprofi t organization
MS Helping Hands,
and distributes medical
and mobility equipment
to those in need.
The service isn’t limited
to people with multiple
sclerosis; anyone in need
can apply. A minimum
suggested donation is
•SCOOTERS (3 & 4 wheel)
•BATHTUB TRANSFER BENCHES
•TOILET SEAT SAFETY FRAMES
•TOILET SEAT RISERS
•2 & 3 - MOTOR WITH MATTRESS
•BED RAILS - TRAPEZES
•MATTRESS PROTECTION PADS
•AND MUCH MORE!
•COOLING VESTS, HOT/COLD NECK
•HANDHELD SHOWER HEADS
•AND MORE MISCELLANEOUS ITEMS*
One of Edmonds’ Best Kept Secrets!
“A RESOURCE FOR PEOPLE WITH SPECIAL NEEDS”
New & Refurbished equipment available to Everyone in
need, not just MS Patients! Items available for minimum
suggested donations! Financial assistance is available.*
*Certain conditions apply.
409 Howell Way • Edmonds, WA 98020
Phone: 425-712-1807 • Fax: 425-776-1712
MSHH is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit corporation. Your donation may be tax deductible.
*SUBJECT TO AVAILABILITY
Reach WillyB by email to comment: firstname.lastname@example.org