JOPLIN, MO – A Joplin church has stepped up big to help its members, as well as folks in the community.

All thanks to the efforts of one of its parishioners.

What good does it do to send a patient home with durable medical equipment they can’t afford to either buy or rent, especially when they may only need it for a few weeks time?

That’s the situation Nicole Watson, a nurse kept running into through her job.

Purpose behind the GBC medical loan closet, a medical ministry of Grace Baptist Church in Joplin.

“Out of frustration, I asked a colleague what they do to help these patients, and she told me I should call my “Medical Loan Closet” and I had never heard of one and she was in Wichita so told me the Wichita Medical Loan Closet kept things for people, they wanted to be able to get to so I contacted them just to get an idea and what they do and loved the idea and thought somebody should do that.” Says Nicole Watson, RN, Director, GBC Medical Loan Closet.

With the blessing of her church pastor, she started a loan closet here in Joplin.

And you don’t have to be a church member to receive and or donate equipment to the ministry.

This ministry started back in the fall, but if it continues to grow, eventually they’ll need to move to a bigger location.

Since that time, Watson says people in the community started donating items they no longer needed.

Even people with other churches have since got involved, like Terri Heeter, who’s house of worship financially supports the program, and she does whatever she can do to keep it going.

“I need you to send out fliers, I need you to pick up stuff, whatever, answer the phone, or you know, call these people back, whatever needs to be done, I’m there to do it.” Says Heeter.

Once an item is donated to the closet, Watson says it often times is sent out within a matter of days.

“A member of our church told me on Wednesday that she had a lift in her bedroom for five years that she really never uses which is essentially brand new, and I was like yeah, we could probably use that, then Friday I got a call from somebody needing a patient to go home with a lift, and it was just such a neat thing how God just keeps connecting those needs together.” Says Watson.

For more information on the church’s medical loan closet, click here.