IndependenceFirst Mobility Store has just moved to its new location at 3720 North 124th Street, Unit F, in Wauwatosa. The Madison store is keeping its current location. Patch chatted with Store Director Julie Schulz to find out more about the shop.
Q. What is your business and what makes it special or unique?
A. The IndependenceFirst Mobility Store is a non-profit program that has been assisting older adults and people with disabilities for over 27 years. We provide high-quality, low-cost refurbished mobility and medical equipment discounted an average of 70percent off new prices. We also offer new equipment at prices significantly lower than retail. The program particularly benefits those who lack the resources to acquire new equipment, though the store is open to the general public for any customer wishing to purchase lower cost like-new and new items.
The equipment at the Mobility Store is donated by community members and businesses, who receive a tax deduction. Donated equipment is refurbished and sanitized to like-new condition in partnership with Badger State Industries and the WI Department of Corrections through an inmate job skills training program. The program also has a training partnership with Invacare Corporation ensuring quality refurbishment and a hospital-accreditation level sanitization process.
Our program is sustainable. Items are kept out of landfills (over 73 tons last year alone!) while 100 percent of the funds received for equipment are reinvested in the program.
Q. What's a fact about your business that most customers probably don't know?
A. Too often Medicare, Medicaid and private insurances won’t purchase the equipment an individual may need. The Mobility Store does not require Medicare, Medicaid or even private insurance to purchase from our stores. We also offer the Equipment Advance Fund that allows individuals to make payments—with no interest—ensuring that they get the equipment they need when they need it.
Q. What's your most popular product or service?
A. Our customers’ needs are very diverse; however we do have a great deal of demand for manual wheelchairs, scooters, and lift chairs.
Q. How does your business connect with the community?
A. We have opened a new store in Wauwatosa to provide even greater access to our equipment and services, helping to ensure the health and quality of life of metro Milwaukee area older adults and people with disabilities.
We are holding our Grand Opening on September 13 and 14 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Stop in and meet our staff, check out our equipment, and register for door prizes!
For more about IndependenceFirst Mobility Store, call (414) 988-5333.
Editor's Note: If you know of a new business we should feature, contact Community Editor Sarah Worthman at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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