Gemach is a Hebrew abbreviation of two words: Gmilut Chasadim, meaning Acts of Kindness. Nine years ago my wife Carole’s mother Sarah Shannahoff passed away after several years at the nursing facility Veranda, now called Crystal Creek. She left behind a walker and a wheelchair.
Carole had an idea. Establish a Gemach in memory of her Mom. The Gemach is called the Sarah Shannahoff Memorial Medical Equi unity. A large shed resting next to our home in North Dallas became a convenient place to store donated equipment. What started as a single wheelchair and a walker, it is now stocked with an assortment of devices, including shower chairs, potty chairs, crutches, canes, knee scooters, not to mention wheelchairs and walkers, and several other items that folks in need can obtain free for their use as long as they need it.
The rules are simple. If you need a wheelchair, walker, or any other item in the shed, just come and get it. When it is no longer needed, return it for others to borrow. When we first started the program, we would sign out when items left, and mark them returned when brought back. It became something of a tactical issue to schedule the ins and outs, so we cut the lock off the shed and it is now a “self service” activity.
Over the years the Gemach flourished, grew and became popular especially in the busy holiday seasons. The traffic picks up, as out of town visitors arrive to stay with local relatives and raises the demand for what’s in the shed. Although most of our equipment is borrowed by the Jewish community, anyone is free to borrow what is needed.
Need a walker? We have a whole variety of models. From the tennis ball variety all the way to the Rolls Royce model with breaks. Just call us at 214-244-5397 or 214-762-6014 and we will reveal the address. We are a couple of blocks from the JCC.
Oh, I forgot to mention to please close the shed door when you leave.
Carole and Joram Wolanow