Lending Hands is an all-volunteer, Michigan, nonprofit social service organization located in Portage, Michigan. We lend home durable medical equipment, for free for seven months, to residents of the Southwest Michigan counties of Allegan, Calhoun, Cass, Kalamazoo, St. Joseph and Van Buren counties and beyond. Lending Hands of Michigan is a 501-c-3 tax-exempt organization.

Since our start in 2005 Lending Hands has served over 40,000 clients with over 80,000 pieces of medical equipment. We have saved our clients, the health care system and various entitlement programs over $12 Million in out-of-pocket expenses. Volunteers have contributed over 70,000 hours of service. In 2018, we saved Kalamazoo County residents over $700,000.

Board of Directors

Julie VanderNoot

Board Chair

Art Roberts

Board Vice Chair

Jay Asher


Dan Story, R.N.


Tracy Hatch


Kelly Quardokas


Tim Stowers


Lisa Carriveau


Amanda Lemmer


Anne Zemlick, R.N.


Lucinda M. Stinson, MPA

Ex-officio & Executive Director

The John Hilliard Endowment

In 2005, John Hilliard had the inspiration to build an organization in Kalamazoo that would lend home medical equipment to anyone who had a need. John spent several years in Arizona where he had familiarity with a similar program and he saw its positive community impact. In Kalamazoo, John began collecting medical equipment in his garage in the Milwood neighborhood and loaning it out to people in need.  

Later that year, Lending Hands began operating as a non-profit organization with a seven-member local board. Its first charitable donation in the amount of $1,000 was received from a couple from Arizona. It ultimately received formal IRS determination as a 501(c)(3), tax-exempt organization in August 2007.

In that first year forty-three people from twelve cities in Southwest Michigan received forty-nine pieces of medical equipment. In 2018, over 5,200 residents in six counties in Southwest Michigan have been served by Lending Hands. Referrals come from a variety of organizations including local hospitals, clinics, and retirement communities. Lending Hands provides the needed medical equipment at no cost (see the attached list of equipment) for a period of up to seven months. In 2019 alone, residents of the six-county service area were saved just under $1.4 million that was available to be invested in other ways throughout the region. Since its inception, Lending Hands has provided over 34,000 area residents with free home medical equipment with an estimated savings of approximately $12 million dollars. In support of our Veterans, we provide (without cost) all transport chairs used for the Talons Out Honor Flights.

2018-2021 Opportunity

In mid-2018, a generous challenge pledge/gift of $25,000 was awarded to Lending Hands of Michigan, Inc. in the form of a planned endowment to be housed at the Kalamazoo Community Foundation, named the John Hilliard Endowment Fund for Lending Hands of Michigan, Inc. The donor agreed to provide a $1 for $1 match up to $25,000 of donations to the John Hilliard Endowment Fund as long as the gifts occur between now and June 30, 2021. It was the hope of a small, volunteer committee, who agreed to raise the matching funds, that the endowment donations would far exceed the needed $25,000 match as this endowment will help to insure a strong future for Lending Hands of Michigan, Inc.  

After one year of effort, we are pleased to report that just over $100,000 has been pledged/gifted to the Kalamazoo Community Foundation for the John Hilliard Endowment Fund. Then in October 2019, John and Rosemary Brown awarded Lending Hands with another $100,000 challenge gift to grow the endowment. The committee has begun efforts to secure the matching $100,000 in funds ($-for-$ match) to help provide a secure future for this important non-profit organization in Southwest Michigan.

Endowment Committee Members

John Hopkins


Julie VanderNoot

Lending Hands Board Chair

Art Roberts

Lending Hands Board

Cindy Buist

Lending Hands Volunteer

Lucinda M. Stinson

Lending Hands Executive Director