Most of us like stories, word pictures that help us visualize information being shared with us. This is especially true for the non-profit organization trying to convey its mission, role in the community, and pressing needs. Stories pull at our hearts more than numbers do; indeed it is difficult to get emotionally attached to data. That is why in the past I’ve told you stories about the circumstantial and medical challenges of the people who turn to us for help, about the patients we pray with and cry with, about the lives we’ve seen change for the better as a result of encountering this ministry.
Yet sometimes numbers do tell a story, particularly when numbers change remarkably over a short period of time. Let’s take a look at our numbers: in 2011 this ministry provided 3,139 medical appointments to the uninsured. In 2012 we provided 5,860 appointments, and so far this year we have provided more than 7,500 appointments. We expect to deliver 10,000 appointments this year, marking greater than a 200% growth in the reach of this ministry in only 24 months. In September alone we provided 1005 appointments. Our parking lot was more than full nearly every day last month. One morning I counted 38 cars in a lot with only 27 parking spaces. If this organization were a for profit company its shareholders would be singing in the streets, or if it were a church its pastor would be dancing to the pulpit.
But we’re neither; instead we are a medical ministry providing healthcare to sick widows, single moms, orphans, prisoners, foreigners, unskilled working men, and the poor, all of whom cannot afford the true cost of caring for their medical needs. In fact, they pay less than what we spend to provide an appointment. That is why we need you; without your willingness to invest in our ministry we could not accomplish what we do. We could not continue to report impressive numbers that signal the growth of our enterprise. More than that, our numbers signal the growth of God’s reach to His people. Every dollar you give helps His Kingdom come.
Here’s a few more numbers to consider: according to a report by the Center for Workforce Studies, Georgia’s population has been increasing faster than its supply of primary care doctors. The report predicts Georgia will rank last in the United States in physicians per capita by 2020. To me, this data points to a great need for our ministry well into the future and our great need for your ongoing financial support, your continued investment in this Kingdom building endeavor.
Let me end with a short story. On October 5th, we opened our doors for the first Saturday clinic in the eight year history of our ministry; we served 14 people in four hours. Yvonne was the first patient to arrive and she did so with praise – “Thank God you are open on Saturday!” We met Yvonne in May when her blood glucose was over 500; today it is very near normal range. She is a student trying to improve her marketable job skills and in the interim works part-time earning $100 a week. This particular appointment was the first one in which she was able to seek treatment for her diabetes without skipping a class or missing work. I thank God too; I thank Him for the donations that make our new Saturday hours possible, donations that help us to serve Yvonne and thousands of others just like her.
So I’ve given you some numbers and a word picture and I pray either or both press on your heart. I pray this because we need your help. We need it now and we will need it in the years to come. We need your financial gifts to fund what we are doing today and to help us grow to meet the demands of tomorrow. Please give.
Donations needed for remainder of 2013: $112,000
Donations needed for 2014: $501,000
Donations needed for new facility: $3,000,000+