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First Methodist to provide medical equipment

First Methodist Church in Warren has partnered with a non-profit in Erie to work to provide medical equipment and healthcare supplies – wheelchairs, walkers, canes, etc. – to those who need them.

“Our congregation takes very seriously our responsibility to provide help to and care for our neighbors,” Rev. Dr. Mark Hecht, senior pastor at First Methodist, told the Times Observer. “Already we have been able to provide walkers, wheel chairs, hospital beds and other items to local persons in need.”

The partnership is with Chosen, a non-profit based in Erie.

Kacie McGregory, assistant executive director with Chosen, said that the partnership with First Methodist “is all part of Chosen’s initiative to fill the gaps in the healthcare system by providing access to wellness and independence for all.

“Chosen believes that this is what God calls the ministry to do.”

The partnership is in some sense decades in the making.

Hecht said his first exposure to Chosen and their mission was nearly 25 years ago when he was serving at a church in the Erie area.

“I became aware of their global impact in providing medical equipment to ministries around the world,” he said. “In fact, I traveled with them to Haiti and witnessed firsthand the good work that this organization does.

In recent years, as their focus has changed to include the providing of health care items locally, I have continued to see this ministry as a blessing.”

That set the stage for this local connection.

“I was very excited when they recently contacted First Methodist and shared a vision of expanding their ministry to satellite locations outside of Erie,” Hecht said, “to make it easier to get the much needed items to persons without them needing to travel all the way to Erie.”

“Based on the shared mission of service, Chosen and Warren First are pleased to work together to extend the opportunity for the local community to receive DME (durable medical equipment) at no cost,” McGregor said.

She explained that there is no need for proof of ID, income or insurance.

“No hoops to jump through,” she stressed. “Equipment offered on site includes adult incontinence products, walkers, canes, shower chairs, and bedside commodes.”

Those looking to secure these items are asked to call Chosen at (814) 833-3023 and not First Methodist directly. Those looking to donate are asked to call the same number or visit chosen210.com.

In turn, First Methodist is holding disbursement hours on Mondays from 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Wednesdays and Fridays from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

“All of these hours precede First Methodist’s community meals,” McGregor said. “Drop-ins are welcome.”

“We have a committed group of volunteers at the church available to help on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays,” Hecht said. “I am certain, as more persons become aware of this ministry, we will see an increase in numbers.”

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