Non-profit helping South Hadley nursing home staff dealing with supply issues


SOUTH HADLEY, MA (WGGB/WSHM) – A story seen on Western Mass News has prompted an act of kindness in South Hadley. Just hours after our reports aired about nurses and other staff a local nursing home not getting paid for weeks, a well-known non-profit organization was inspired to give back.

Bob Charland, or ‘Bob the Bike Guy’ as many in the western Massachusetts community know him, made a huge donation of supplies to the Pioneer Valley Rehabilitation Center, but he told us it was one of his volunteers who was inspired to give back after seeing our coverage on the lingering issues at the South Hadley nursing home. His post about the donation has since gone viral and he told us that the response has been extremely positive. His organization doesn’t just donate bikes. It also has a warehouse full of medical supplies they donate to seniors in need.

“If somebody passes away, a lot of times, there’s medical supplies at their house. What happens is a lot of the time the stuff just builds up, so if somebody passes away, companies keep sending adult diapers, so people reach out to me. We go down and pick it up. We bring it in and inventory it,” Charland explained.

After hearing about the unpaid staff at Pioneer Valley Rehabilitation Center and their lack of supplies, Charland told Western Mass News that he and his volunteers decided to give back and help ease their burnout.

One of my volunteers, Sue Bonini, is a retired nurse. All of my volunteers are retired. She was down here yesterday and she read a news article that you guys had done on the nursing home in South Hadley and she felt very inspired by the situation, so she called one of the directors over there and explained that we literally have a whole entire warehouse in this facility full of brand new diapers, bed pads, briefs, all kinds of medical equipment, hospital beds,” Charland explained.

Charland told us that’s when the facility in South Hadley sent his team a list of things they needed and his organization has since donated five pallets of much needed supplies, which Charland said should last them a week, but he’s prepared to send over enough to get them through another two weeks.

I spoke to a few of the workers myself and one of the workers went out today and spent over $800 of her own money to get supplies for us. It’s a very sad situation. I don’t know the technical ins and outs of what’s going on. I only know what read, but I applaud the ones that are staying there because I know several of them have probably left already. If they’re not getting paid, it’s a tough situation,” Charland noted.

The nursing staff at the center told us they are so thankful for the generosity.

We’re grateful for all of the support we’ve gotten for any donations that people have given,” said nurse Sue Bonfitto.

“Sue and I both want to say how grateful we are to ‘Bob The Bike Man’ to everybody that’s come out and helped us and supported us to be able to have all this come to light, so we can get so we can have solutions, so we can have this rectified and go back to what we do best take care of our patients that are in need,” said nurse Christine MacLure.

Western Mass News has still not heard back from the owner of the facility, Blupoint Healthcare.



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