Since July 1993, ACTS has provided home convalescent equipment to residents of St. Mary's County, including hospital beds, wheelchairs, walkers, bedside commodes, crutches, canes, shower benches, toilet risers, dialysis chairs, and similar items.
Service is without cost to the user of the equipment for the time it is needed. ACTS members are non-paid volunteers from the community. Membership is open to any emergency service, civic, fraternal, religious, or not-for-profit organization located within Southern Maryland. ACTS receives its support from individuals, business donations, and through the generous contribution of usable convalescent equipment from members of the community. A 24-hour answering service is maintianed for messages. Representatives of ACTS will respond to these calls during the next bussiness day. Services are performed without the assistance of any government subsidy, however, with the support of United Way and other local agencies.
ACTS is Listed in the Amazon Smile program so as you shop online, you can help support ACTS.
ACTS (A COMMUNITY THAT SHARES)
BIOGRAPHY ON THE BEGINNING AND GROWTH OF ACTS
AND THE ORIGINAL MEMBERS
The original idea to create ACTS began with Ramey Wible. At that time, Ramey represented the American Legion Post 221 Avenue, MD. There was no warehouse to store some durable medical equipment that had been collected. It was kept in Ramey Wible’s garage and at various locations in the 7th district.
This is the list of equipment in Ramey Wible’s initial inventory:
- 22 wheel chairs
- 17 beds, 6 walkers
- 2 bed tables
- 4 potty chairs
- ACTS started out with very little equipment.
It was during Bo Bailey’s term as president of the 7th District Optimist Club in 1992-93 that the idea for a centrally located warehouse to store convalescent equipment, and loan it to the community was born. ACTS became a reality.
Bo needed a project for his year in office. Bo named Dick Gass as his co- chairman for the project. Together they visited local lending institutions to secure a loan. Dick Gass was instrumental in raising money through private donations. Dick was the go to guy when Bo needed something done especially when it came to raising some money. Over $ 8,000.00 was raised in less than a year. A handful of people in the 7th District made donations that started ACTS..; the donations which ranged from $25.00 to $1,000.00 .
Dick Gass stayed on in an advisory position. He helped plan budgets and plan fund raisers. Robert Pogue was there to help with permits and cost of building estimates. The projected budget for the warehouse was $26,500.00
The first donation came from the 7th District Optimist Club followed by the 7th District Fire Department and 7th District Rescue Squad. ACTS started with around $2,500.00.
The Optimist Club leased ACTS a portion of their property for the future warehouse for $1.00 a year.
The first official ACTS meeting was held February 24, 1993. The officers were:
- President - Leroy Williams
- Vice President - Carol Ann Hall
- Secretary - Dee Skinner
- Treasurer - Joe Carroll
- Board members: Mike Barbour, Judy Corbeille, Bo Bailey.
These were the real pioneers of ACTS. All of them were passionate and worked hard as they paved the way for the success that ACTS is today.
Our purpose was and still is to lend convalescent equipment out without charge to those people in need, for as long as needed.
Our sponsors at that time were:
7th District Optimist Club All Saints Episcopal Church
American Legion Post 221, 4th District Optimist Club 7th District Volunteer Fire Dept.
7th District Fire Department Ladies Auxiliary 7th District Rescue Squad
7th Distric Rescue Squad Auxililary Sacred Heart Church
Holy Angels Christ Church
Our Lady Of The Wayside All Saints Church
St. Clements Island Museum Hospice Of St. Mary’s
Office On Aging St. Mary’s County Social Services St. Mary’s County Health Dept.
Robert Pogue Shane Mattingly
Bob Arnold and Frank Roys were instrumental in getting United Way as a regular donor to ACTS on a yearly schedule, and they continue to give to us today. Frank Roys is still an active volunteer for ACTS volunteering on a regular basis. Hilda Arnold is also with ACTS serving over 21 years.
Gordon Spaulding put the electric in for cost of materials; John Wood was responsible for getting the Chaney Corperation to handle the cement floors for the building; Hermie Mattingly hauled in the gravel; Richard Tippet dug the footers; David Cullins and Russ Cullins did the grass planting and the drive way; Wentworth Nursery gave flowers .
With the efforts of our community contributers and sponsors, ACTS became a reality. In the beginning it was strictly a warehouse with no facillities but soon we grew into having an office and bathroom facilities including heat.
ACTS grew by leaps and bounds. Within the first two years ACTS was able to pay off the loan at the bank in full.
Over the last 23 years we have come from having just a few pieces of equipment. including only 4 pots to over 4,000 pieces of equipment. Most have been donated by local organizations, including the Veteran Of Foreign Affairs, St. Mary’s Hopital and nursing homes. We are supported by Retired Senior Volunteer Program (RSVP) through the Office On Aging under the direction of Norine Rowe. We would like to thank Christine Wray for her generous donation to ACTS, the 7th District Optimist for their constant support and all the other organizations who have supported us through the years.
Fund raisers have had a huge effect on our growth. Local organizations and our sponsors have been responsible for our ability to serve the people in St. Mary’s County.
In 2012 we began a building fund and a committee was appointed to raise the necessary funds for an additional warehouse. ACTS has continued to grow from just those few pieces of equipment to a large organization. Those first pioneers that worked so tirelessly to start this wonderful organization have given ACTS the foundation to help the citizens of St. Mary’s County.
There is one person that we honor for his great efforts. Bo Bailey is a founding father of our organization and has been the most committed to the growth of ACTS.
The one thing that stands out about this man among so many other thing is his belief that the most important thing you can do and must do is give back to your community and neighbors any way that you can.
Bo has spent most of his life doing just that. We have dedicated the ACTS building to Bo & Louann Bailey. As it was then and is now, it takes all the volunteers and community support to make ACTS work as well as it does. There is no better place to live where people treat and care for each other than the 7th District.