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Operation Medicine Cabinet a success

By Robin Perry
Special to the Salisbury PostWhen we said rain or shine, we didn’t mean torrential rain. But the good folks of Salisbury (and beyond) did show up at the second Operation Medicine Cabinet on Saturday, despite the downpours and windy weather ó and in record numbers.
More than 105 cars drove through the entryway of the Rufty-Holmes Senior Center to dispose of their expired and unused medications in a safe, green way.
This drive-through and drop-off of old meds is a community outreach effort of Home Instead Senior Care, along with the Rufty-Holmes Senior Center and the Salisbury Police Department. They had the first such event last April, and this one was even bigger and better, despite the wind and rain.
“I was pleased to see a larger turnout than the first time we did it, even with rainy weather,” said Rick Eldridge, executive director of the Rufty-Holmes Senior Center.
“Hopefully, word is getting around about this unique service that we hope to offer twice a year from now on.”
Mary Lou Kicinski came through and was excited about the project.
“I learned about it the last time and watched for it, cut out the notice in the paper and made copies and put them out at different locations, like the K-mart,” she said. “This is really a good thing!”
One couple came from as far away as Statesville, after hearing about Operation Medicine Cabinet at a health fair at their church, Prospect Presbyterian Church. Everyone who drove through seemed most appreciative of the service ó to get rid of old medications in a safe way.
This time, 70 pounds of pills were collected (weighed after they were removed from the bottles), 20 pounds of needles, 87 pounds of over-the-counter meds (liquids, etc.) and six huge bags of empty medicine bottles. There were even veterinary medicines.
The bottles were picked up by Altrusa volunteer Leah McFee, who delivered them to the Community Care Clinic, where they have volunteers who will sterilize them and then put them to good use again.
Total pills and medications equaled 157 pounds.
This project protects folks by getting rid of old medications so they don’t use them by mistake, or have them stolen, and also keeps the environment green, since we aren’t supposed to put them down the drain.
We are thrilled with the turnout on Saturday and look forward to doing this again in the early spring.
Many people came who had done so before in April and were waiting for the next opportunity to clean out their medicine cabinets.
Operation Medicine Cabinet is a trademarked program of Home Instead Senior Care.
Robin Perry is community service director for Home Instead Senior Care. For more information, call 704-636-2010.

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