February so far has brought a touching outpouring of support for the work our dedicated staff does in the clinic. One of our best and most modest nurse volunteers (thus name withheld) surprised us with a gift of money she collected from her friends and neighbors. She and a few friends organized a neighborhood clothing swap. Participants traded their jackets, sweaters, pants and skirts that they no longer wanted to wear for their neighbors’ cache of gently used clothing. Then, instead of paying one another for the clothes, they took out their check books, dug out their cash and made Health Care Access Clinic the beneficiary of their weekend swap meet. Our volunteer undoubtedly added the extra cash to make it an even $1,000.
When we are presented with a gift like this, we are humbled by the creativity and effort that our supporters employ to find new ways to help our patients. The $1,000 we received will pay for the care of three patients all year long, PLUS, purchase seven lab test cartridges for our new in-house laboratory. We can turn every dollar into $5.44 worth of medical care thanks to the generosity of our community volunteers, LMH donations and plain, old-fashioned frugalness.
As special as that was, we were all moved when a girl came to the clinic with another envelope filled with cash and checks. This extraordinary girl decided she wanted to forgo birthday presents and instead dedicate her birthday celebration to helping those who are uninsured and need medical care. She asked her guests to bring small cash donations instead of presents for herself and then presented the donations to us. The amount was smaller than our first surprise, but the act was huge. It reminded me of a favorite quote from Colin Powell: “Giving back involves a certain amount of giving up.” This exceptional birthday girl understands that better than most. How many of us can say we have done as much?
If you feel moved to make a donation to the Clinic, large or small, or if you have medical items or office supplies you’d like to donate, give in to that feeling and do it! Better yet, if you can find a creative way to engage your friends, co-workers or neighbors in a joint effort to generate a gift to the clinic, we will happily celebrate your generosity and creativity! Names optional.