Organization holds mortgage-burning ceremony, embarks on green upgrades to facilities
Campaign frees more funds to meet growing needs of disabled community
Friends of Disabled Adults and Children (FODAC), a non-profit organization providing over $10 million annually in durable medical equipment (DME) and supplies to those living with disability, held a mortgage burning ceremony on Wednesday, 1 February, the result of a successful year-long capital campaign. “Keeping People with Disabilities Moving” sought to raise $1.5 million by the end of 2016 to support facility upgrades and strengthen the organization’s financial foundation, including paying off the mortgage on the 64,000 square-foot corporate headquarters and warehouse. FODAC exceeded the original campaign goal of $1.5 million and is still collecting funds to supplement some of the energy efficiency projects such as installation of solar panels, LED replacements and HVAC upgrades.
FODAC made its final mortgage payment of $787,671 to United Community Bank during the ceremony, paying off the mortgage ten years early. In attendance at the small ceremony were members of FODAC management, staff and board; United Community Bank Embry Hills branch manager Jeff Kinney and bank manager Julie Carter; and DeKalb County Child Advocacy Center Director Trenny Stovall.
“This is a significant milestone for the organization,” said Chris Brand, president and CEO of FODAC. “Paying off the mortgage relieves us of a large financial burden and prepares us to meet the ever-growing needs of the disabled community. Recent cuts in Medicare and Medicaid funding have left more people needing more help with equipment costs, and now FODAC will have more resources to meet those needs.”
FODAC is a nonprofit organization that fills a unique role: it provides medical equipment such as wheelchairs and hospital beds at little or no cost to people with disabilities and their families, seeking to enhance the quality of life for people of all ages who have any type of mobility impairment, either temporary or permanent. Most of FODAC’s DME is collected through donations of used equipment which the organization cleans, repairs and reissues to those in need. Each year, the nonprofit provides over $10 million in DME and services to the community. No matter the background, demographic, or age, FODAC is ready to help clients through insurmountable challenges and improve their lives.
In 2014, FODAC assisted about 2,500 clients with 4,917 pieces of DME; by 2016 that number had increased to 3,040 clients needing 6,809 pieces of DME, and so far in January 2017 requests are up 10% from the same time last year.
“FODAC is the only nonprofit in Atlanta doing this type of work, and no funding is received from Medicare or Medicaid for the services offered,” said Scott Schwartz, associate broker at Bullseye Auctions and chairman of the board for FODAC, who headed up the capital campaign. “It was vital to retire that debt in order to make more funds available to support our programs. We are grateful to the donors who saw the need and their overwhelming generosity towards FODAC and the disabled community.”
In addition to paying off the mortgage, “Keeping People with Disabilities Moving” will also fund green upgrades to FODAC headquarters which, when fully implemented, will save approximately $47,000 per year on FODAC’s annual operating budget, funds which can also shift to supporting the organization’s mission.
Friends of Disabled Adults and Children (FODAC) helps people with injuries and disabilities of all ages regain their mobility, independence and quality of life. The non-profit organization provides more than $10 million annually in refurbished durable medical equipment (DME) and home modifications in Georgia and across the United States, all at little or no cost to the recipients. A pioneer in re-use, FODAC keeps 350 tons of materials out of landfills each year by refurbishing and reissuing over 500 DME items every month, and is recognized nationally for best practices. In 2014, FODAC was named to Charities Under 5% Overhead, an organization of charities that have operating overhead of five percent or less.
In 2013, Georgia Emergency Management Agency (GEMA) appointed FODAC to serve as the statewide distributor of DME and assistive technology in the event of a large population-affecting emergency situation. In this role, FODAC will warehouse the DME and other equipment, then, working with GEMA, the Department of Human Services (DHS) and the American Red Cross (ARC) of Georgia, will coordinate the delivery and distribution to emergency shelters around the state.