7Everyday Hero Heather Holmes collects medical supplies and sells them at a fraction of the cost of insurance companies.
LOVELAND, Colo. - Imagine paying a fraction for a walker, wheelchair, or medical device you need for you or your loved one.
You can through the GoodHealthWill project and this week's 7Everyday Hero, Heather Holmes, is the driving force behind it.
"Formally we are Rocky Mountain Medical Outfitting & Recycling, but we like to go by GoodHealthWill," said Holmes.
"It has just been a Godsend really," said Jane Koeckeritz, with the University of Colorado Health Poudre Valley Hospital.
At first glance the Loveland nonprofit looks like a typical storeroom, but it is really a warehouse of hope for people needing medical supplies.
GoodHealthWill collects unused or gently used medical supplies and provides them to anyone at a fraction of the cost.
"We are like Goodwill, like a thrift store, only we only do healthcare supplies and medical equipment," said Holmes.
Holmes was inspired by her daughter, Emma, to start GoodHealthWill six years ago.
"My daughter is disabled and so just knowing people we started hoarding stuff. We didn't want them to throw it away," said Holmes.
We all know medical equipment can be expensive even if you are insured.
"Even if you have good insurance many of these things are not paid for because durable medical equipment is not something that a lot of payers will pay for," said Koeckeritz.
Most everything is donated. Some of its never been taken out of the packaging, other items have been refurbished.
"Granted, just like buying a used car, it may not be as pretty but functionally it is safe and sound and works just great for folks," said Holmes.
"What she is doing is keeping this all out of the landfill while she is making it available to clients like ours who would not have the equipment if not for Heather," said Koeckeritz.
GoodHealthWill has perfectly good canes for $1 to $5. And wheelchairs and walkers that often cost hundreds, you pay whatever you can afford.
"Everyone is really amazed. They cannot believe this really exists. A lot of people don't know about this place," said Perla Millan, a GoodHealthWill employee.
"We have folks regularly drive from Denver, Colorado Springs, or Laramie, Wyoming. A half day drive to get equipment because they are saving thousands of dollars," said Holmes.
In 2012 GoodHealthWill of Loveland helped 6,000 people.
As one customer put it: "I just love this place. It is so nice and I am just so thankful for this place."
Heather would like to expand in order to help even more people, but she needs some help.
"We definitely need a partner in the Denver area. That is where we have been looking for donations," said Holmes.
Heather Holmes could have focused just on her own family, but chose to help thousands.
I cannot say enough things about Heather. No one deserves this Hero award more than she does, it's fabulous," said Koeckeritz.
"A wonderful lady, willing to anything for anybody, including meeting people at the hospital with a walker or whatever they need," said Judy Cunningham, who nominated Holmes as a 7Everyday Hero.
To learn more go to www.Goodhealthwill.Org.