ST. PETE, Fla. — A St. Pete woman can barely walk through her storage container unit because there is so much equipment inside.
“I started collecting gently used medical equipment in my one-bedroom apartment, and overnight I went from a couple of pieces of equipment to over 10,000 pieces of medical equipment,” said Kelli Casto, who created the nonprofit group Saving Our Seniors.
“It’s amazing that the community believes in us and wants to donate their extra stuff to our organization,” said Casto.
As an occupational therapist assistant for the past 10 years, going in and out of seniors’ homes, she saw first hand there was a gap that had to be filled.
“I saw the lack of resources there are for seniors when it comes to purchasing equipment or receiving it through their insurance in a timely manner,” said Casto.
Before the pandemic she was making an average of 20 deliveries a week, and now it’s well over 100, which sometimes includes food. Her latest delivery was a much-needed shower chair.
“They were going without being able to take a shower, something we take for granted,” said Casto. “Just because they are older doesn’t mean they can’t live an independent life.”
When Teresa Tolliver opened the door to see Casto holding the chair, she knew it was going to be a life-changer.
“I'm blessed, I’m double blessed, just to have her around,” said Tolliver. “Just to sit and be able to take a bath again is just wonderful.”
Casto said it’s the reaction she receives every time she makes a delivery that pushes her to continue expanding the charity.
“I just love being able to help seniors that are often forgotten about in our community,” said Casto.
For more information on how to donate or volunteer go to savingourseniors.org.