At 11:00AM this morning, I posted this tweet:
31 people needing care have shown up in the three hours we’ve been open. Please pray for this ministry; need is outpacing our resources.
This level of activity comes on the heels of what we were able to accomplish the preceding Friday. On March 14th, seventy-six people came to the Center with one healthcare need or another. We provided care to 61 people and made arrangements to help the other 15 at some point in the near future. The care we provided included routine annual physicals and treatment for hypertension, diabetes, thyroid diseases, kidney failure, migraines and depression. Five healthcare providers, 4 healthcare students, 4 volunteers, 3 interpreters, 8 support staff members and I worked together to get all that work done. One hundred people were in the building that day. That means somehow 100 cars were able to reach a building that offers only 27 parking spaces. It was a modern day fish and loaves event. It sounds highly improbable, the physics don’t work, but it happened.
The Center operates 52 hours per week to provide up to 1000 appointments each month, and our efforts extend well beyond our own walls (and parking lot). Through our network of collaborating physicians in the community, last year we were able to find services for 650 patients who needed specialty medical care, including surgeries. We were able to obtain diagnostic imaging, including mammography, for 1275 individuals, and were able to assist in the enrollment to social programs for more than 350 individuals. Were the Good Samaritan Health Center of Gwinnett not present in the community, thousands of uninsured individuals each year would go without affordable and convenient access to healthcare services.
How much longer can we sustain this level of activity in our small building, how many more cars can we miraculously squeeze into our parking lot? How much longer before there is an accident just outside our doors? We are now rejecting volunteers only so that one less car attempts to enter our lot. The next step will be to limit the number of patients we serve each day and begin a waiting list. That prospect makes me heartsick. To turn the needy away would not reflect well on the One we represent. We must move to a larger facility, and we must move very soon. We need your help now. Honestly, we need your help now.
The Community Foundation for Northeast Georgia (CFNEG) recently awarded us a $50,000 Challenge Grant to help us in our current capital campaign. We must first raise a matching amount before the Foundation will disburse the challenge grant dollars. We must raise our matching funds by the end of 2014. Please make a contribution today to help us meet the challenge. The combined gifts of $100,000 will move us closer to our goal of relocating to a larger, and much safer, facility. Please, give something to help make it unnecessary to turn away anyone who would want to come through our doors.