NELLIS AIR FORCE BASE, Nev. — The military is well known for coming together to help those in need and the Nellis community is no exception. The Nellis Area Spouses Club recently came to the aid of the Mike O’Callaghan Federal Medical Center by donating needed medical equipment.
Starting in February, the club contacted the hospital with an offer to donate equipment or any other necessary items that the hospital was unable to afford with its tightened budget.
“There was a need for wheelchairs at the hospital,” said Megan Markling, Nellis Area Spouse Club charitable request chair and thrift shop manager, who directed donation efforts to the hospital.
“We can definitely use them,” said Colonel Adam Bearden, 99th Medical Group deputy commander. Many patients receiving medical treatment require wheelchairs afterward, Bearden added.
The club voted in February on the needed funds, ordered them in March and was able to officially donate 30 wheelchairs at the cost of almost $5,000 to the hospital May 1.
“This is fantastic,” said Bearden. “It’s wonderful to be able to have an organization like the [NASC] donate to the medical group. [The patients are] a diverse group of folks that we can assist because of what they’ve done.”
Maj. Scott Farmer, 99th Medical Group medical logistics flight commander, is happy to see organizations like the NASC reach out to those in need.
“It’s military helping military and the veterans. It’s always great when we can help each other out,” Farmer said. “You just don’t expect donations necessarily, especially when they are donating something we can really utilize.”
According to Bearden, about 325,000 people are eligible to use the facilities at the hospital and the wheelchairs have the potential to directly impact those patients’ care.
“We just don’t have the abundance of money we used to have,” Bearden said. “Years ago we could just purchase things fairly easily. Now it’s very challenging to get things that you know you need.”
With the purchase of these wheelchairs, the hospital will be able to purge some of their older and broken wheelchairs and distribute the newer wheelchairs to different areas of the hospital after required safety checks.
Bearden and the medical group are looking forward to working with the NASC in the future. “We’d love to continue the partnership with the spouses club,” he said. “And we look forward to any additional assistance they can provide us.”
The Nellis Area Spouses Club was created in January after the officer and enlisted spouse clubs combined to make an all-ranks club for spouses of active duty and retired service members.
Their charitable donations come directly from the funds generated by the Nellis Area Spouses Thrift Shop on base, which is operated by NASC with the help of volunteers.
“We’ve given over $20,000 to the Nellis and local communities this [fiscal] year alone,” Markling said. This includes donations to the American Fund, Horses for Heroes, local Boy and Girl Scout troops and schools. “And we still have quite a bit to give away to the community,” she added.
Markling said that without the volunteers at the thrift shop, these charitable contributions would not be possible. They are always looking for people to help out, even if just for an hour.
For more information about the Nellis Area Spouses Club, visit their website at www.nellisasc.com or stop by their thrift shop next to the commissary.