MACK STALEY of Tiburon was in line at the county dump one morning in 2001.
"A fella in front of me had a truck full of stuff for the landfill," he said. "There was a perfectly good wheelchair in the back."
Staley asked the woman at the gate if she got items like that very often.
"Oh, all the time," she replied. "People throw lots of good stuff away."
That's when Staley, now 81, decided to open up Home Cares Equipment Recyclers, which collects surplus medical equipment - wheelchairs, walkers, commodes, toilet risers, canes. He gives away the collected items for free to people in need.
He and a partner, retired critical care nurse Marilyn McConnell, 70, of Novato, spend three hours every Wednesday receiving donated equipment at a storage facility off Kerner Boulevard in San Rafael from individuals and health-care agencies.
On April 18, 2008 we received the Sustainable North Bay Award from Jared Huffman, 6th Assembly District, California State Legislature. This award states: "Presented to honor your resourceful, thoughtful and dedicated work, keeping useful medical equipment out of the landfill and giving it to those in need. This is a value to the community and the environment. Thank you for your commitment to community service, recycling and for being a model of resourcefulness in Marin County!"
All of the volunteers at MMER do this work solely for the satisfaction of reducing environmental waste and helping people in the community obtain the medical equipment they need or help others find a place to donate their equipment and supplies.
Mack Staley one of our founders and has been recycling and helping people get medical equipment well before the start of MMER in 2001.
Marilyn McConnell, a retired nurse from Novato, joined Mack in early 2001 to help set up the current location and continues to be present every week as well as responding to client telephone calls.
Jim Rawlinson of Woodacre joined us immediately on retiring from his work life and has been a key player for MMER ever since.
Barbara Wander, a retired teacher from San Rafael, has been a powerful force in keeping all the equipment and supplies moving week after week.
Ada Bandoni, Edna McDonell, and Bodil Platt are all retired from the healthcare industry and are welcome additions to our hardworking group.