Marilyn and Mack receive a 2018 Jefferson Award
Mack Staley and Marilyn McConnell, the founders of MMER, receive the prestigious 2018 Jefferson Award from the foundations CEO, Hillary Schafer. The award is given to those who demonstrate outstanding community service. Watch the story on KPIX 5 News.
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!"
Marilyn McConnell, a retired nurse from Novato, joined Mack in early 2001 to help set up the current location and continues to find local resources that can take items that we cannot accept.
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.
Jim Rawlinson of Woodacre joined us immediately on retiring from his work life and has been a key player for MMER ever since.
Ada Bandoni, and Bodil Platt are retired from the healthcare industry and are welcome additions to our hardworking group.
Kathy Collins, a retired physical therapist keeps all equipment identified and ready at hand. And Carol O'Connell is quick to understand your
needs, and carries out many important behind the scenes activities.
Richard Birnbaum comes early to set up and make equipment available.
Paul Clark evaluates every piece of equipment and is a master at finding room to store every item each week.
David Zeff helps you identify what equipment works best for your needs.
Donna Roche, is also a retired physical therapist who is available to help you with your needs & requests.
Stephanie Thrasher is our newest volunteer has been quick to learn and is excited about her work with MMER.