You are probably going to get tired of this column reminding you to give to your neighbors, but we think it an important task.
Many needs exist in Ashe and around the world.
One of the recent ones mentioned in our news pages is the Ashe Free Medical Clinic.
It is embarking on a fundraiser, looking to collect $150,000 to help operate the facility located next to Jefferson United Methodist Church.
It is a young organization, struggling for a steady base of support through grants and community support.
It operates by the decisions of some of your neighbors, people experienced in the variety of things that make a free medical clinic work.
The place is sometimes described as catching those who fall between the cracks of our health care system. They may have jobs but don’t make enough money to buy the proper medications for themselves or their children. They live in a world where healthcare is priced for people with insurance but they have no insurance.
In order to receive the clinic’s services, applicants must meet certain basic requirements. Applicants must not have any form of private health insurance, or qualify for Medicaid, Medicare, NC Health Choice, TriCare or Veterans Benefits. All prospective clients must live or work in Ashe County, ACFMC said. Each prospective patient must apply in person and come to a one-time interview to determine eligibility.
Without a free medical clinic, they end up more often in emergency rooms, a truly expensive place to distribute health care, but one from which they can’t be turned away. So that expensive treatment is shared by all of us.
They may also end up in emergency rooms sicker than they would with the availability of a free medical clinic.
The Children’s Christmas Project is another. By this time the effort has collected most of the needed items. The need this week is help wrapping 4,000 gifts for delivery.
Area churches are also collecting donations for children and families.
Needs continue for donations to help people to stay warm this winter.
And the Salvation Army kettles, scattered around in high traffic areas can be a destination for your loose change. It will most often be taken with a smile and a friendly greeting, too like the one offered recently by the volunteer manning his station at the West Jefferson Walmart.
That only cost a handful of pocket change that most won’t miss.
We’re not suggesting that anyone give beyond their means. Just give what you can, money or time. The options are available.
And take a little from the experience when you do. Take the time to look at where your resources come from. Probably they don’t come just from your own efforts alone. That can lead to finding the gift of gratitude.