Visiting Nurse & Hospice Care is pleased to announce that the Loan Closet, Santa Barbara’s community resource that loans medical equipment to those in need, has moved to a larger, more accommodating space at 602 E. Montecito St., near the new VNHC Santa Barbara headquarters.

The Loan Closet continues to be a valuable service that provides medical equipment free of charge to the Santa Barbara community.

The Loan Closet, which lends basic medical devices such as crutches, canes, walkers, wheelchairs and bathroom safety equipment to more than 3,000 Santa Barbara residents annually, opened in 1951.

Thomas Storke, then publisher and editor of the Santa Barbara News-Press, broke his leg and was in need of a wheelchair. He discovered just how expensive it was to rent a wheelchair and other medical equipment around town, and questioned how the average family could afford such an expense for equipment that is commonly used very briefly after an injury, surgery or similar circumstance. Inspired by his experience, Storke began the News-Press Christmas Fund to solicit donations for an informal Loan Closet.

Now, more than a half-century later, the Loan Closet continues to loan critical equipment and provide an essential service for members of the community, allowing VNHC to fulfill its promise to be there when you need them most.

The Loan Closet is completely supported through private contributions, often from individuals who have benefited from this unique program. Visiting Nurse & Hospice Care remains committed to providing this vital community service.

If you would like to support this effort, click here for our Secure Online Giving Form. The Loan Closet is open 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday through Friday to those in need.

For more information about the Loan Closet and its relocation, call 805.690.6235 or email

Visiting Nurse & Hospice Care is the leading nonprofit provider of comprehensive in-home health care. Its mission is to provide high quality, comprehensive home health, hospice and related services necessary to promote the health and well-being of all community residents, including those unable to pay. It serves the greater Santa Barbara area, and Santa Ynez and Lompoc Valleys. Established in 1908, Visiting Nurse & Hospice Care is one of Santa Barbara’s oldest nonprofit organizations.

For more information about Visiting Nurse & Hospice Care, click here or call 805.965.5555.

— Jennifer Guess is a publicist representing Visiting Nurse & Hospice Care.