We have granted $1,000 to AssistList Association from the Smart & Caring Surrey Community Fund to help continue community development, educational activities, and website improvements needed to enhance the quality of life for Surrey individuals with disabilities, seniors and community members who have low income.
AssistList’s mission is to improve the quality of life for those in need of affordable home health equipment and support others who no longer need the home health equipment they own. AssistList’s digital marketplace empowers residents in Greater Vancouver and surrounding regions to connect and exchange these items, including wheelchairs, walkers and hospital beds. AssistList’s network of Community Partners further improves service delivery to the community by sharing resources, educating the community and providing safe locations for equipment exchange. Additionally, AssistList promotes positive environmental action by encouraging the re-use and re-homing of equipment that would otherwise have been discarded thus prolonging its usable lifespan.
“It is common for someone with an injury to receive a list of home health equipment they need to fully heal. However, many people cannot afford the necessary equipment and often re-injure themselves, leading to an ongoing cycle of injuries. We understand that there is a major need for affordable and accessible home health equipment in our community, which is why we run this program,” explained Daruvin Sood, Director of Technology of AssistList Association.
Since AssistList began focusing efforts on expanding their community base in Surrey, there has been an increase in visitors, listings and equipment exchanges from Surrey residents on their website. After receiving grant approval from SurreyCares Community Foundation on July 7, 2020, AssistList has already seen a great outcome. There have been at least seven items exchanged in Surrey, including two electric hospital beds, two tilt wheelchairs, two power lift chairs, a ROHO mattress and an aluminum ramp. These items value at a total of roughly $19,750 when purchased new, but AssistList users were able to purchase the previously-owned for $3,549, which is 18% of the original cost. This program provides savings for these individuals who may have had difficulty buying these items brand new. Moreover, when comparing cities, Surrey now has the second-largest percentage of AssistList visitors (23% from Vancouver, 11% from Surrey).
President of AssistList Association, Kevin Chow, expressed his appreciation, stating that “the grant we received from SurreyCares Community Foundation will greatly support our AssistList Surrey Program, which aims to improve AssistList’s service delivery to residents of Surrey who need home health equipment. Thanks to this grant, we have begun making a greater connection to Surrey and are continuing to serve the community better, both now and long-term.”
However, the AssistList Association understands that there is still work to be done so that more Surrey residents know about their services. This gap exists as many residents may not have access to technology or are unable to read English. The organization requires more funding to print continuous physical collateral, in a variety of languages, so more Surrey residents can learn about their affordable home health equipment program.
This grant is made possible through the Smart and Caring Surrey Community Fund which addresses a broad range of local needs – including future needs that often cannot be anticipated, at the time a gift is made.
“We are so grateful to be able to support the AssistList Association with a grant from the Smart & Caring Fund as their program is fundamental to Surrey community members in need of affordable home health equipment,” Said Christine Buttkus, Executive Director of SurreyCares Community Foundation. “We know this funding is going towards an outstanding initiative that will greatly help many in our community.”
Individuals and businesses who wish to support Surrey charities are asked to give to the Smart & Caring Surrey Community Fund. SurreyCares Community Foundation evaluates all aspects of community wellbeing including arts and culture, education, environment, health and social services, neighbourhood revitalization, and more. The Smart and Caring Surrey Community Fund connects donors with communal social causes and is delivered across sectors to support multiple charitable organizations, projects and initiatives that benefit the community and citizens of Surrey. The support of vulnerable populations is therefore wide-ranging and ongoing.
The Smart and Caring Fund was renamed in 2017 as part of a national movement to strengthen the Smart and Caring network in anticipation of the 150th Anniversary of Confederation. The campaign championed by Community Foundations of Canada’s patron, Gov. Gen David Johnston set out to establish flexible funds that inspire change from the ground up intending to make our communities better places to live, work and play.
The Smart and Caring Surrey Community provides support for the most vulnerable citizens in our community and is currently campaigning to raise $75,000 by the end of 2021 to increase granting capacity.
To learn more about AssistList Association, visit their webpage at www.assistlist.ca.