As the last days of 2018 draw near, we take stock of our work and see clearly the number of people in need of low-cost medical and dental care continues to increase. Last week, we exceeded the 32,000 visits benchmark, meaning customer demand for our services has grown 25% since this time last year. And just three years ago, we thought we were busy at 17,000 visits!
The Good Samaritan Health Center of Gwinnett was formed fourteen years ago for one purpose: to fulfill the instruction issued by Jesus in Luke 10:9, to “heal the sick who are there, and tell them the Kingdom of God has come near.”
This ministry has been from its inception, and must continue to be, about the lives of the people we serve. The people in need, the sick who are healed, the hurting who are comforted, and the hearts that are touched. We intentionally sought out opportunities to serve those Jesus told us to remember – the poor, the foreigner, the prisoner, the widow, and the orphan. Our Christian mission is fundamental to our service of those who depend on us. In order to maintain that important distinction, we must fund ourselves through patient fees and private donations rather than restrictive public funds. That fundraising task can be quite a challenge.
On average, we spend $100 to complete one visit, and our customer pays $55 for the service. We need another $45 per visit to remain a sustainable ministry. We expect our customers to turn to us at least 35,000 times during 2019, and, honestly, that’s a conservative estimate. As Gwinnett’s population increases, so too does the utilization of our low-cost medical, dental, medication, and counseling services. We predict a need for just more than $1.5M in charitable donations next year to continue our ministry activities without interruption.
If you are a Believer, we lean on you to help us continue to serve the poor and in that context, to share the Good News. We ask you to give to this ministry so that we might continue to do what we do. We ask you to forward this newsletter to your family and friends so that others might become inspired to help us pursue our mission. We ask you to appeal to your church to support us because without support and encouragement from the church our battle only becomes more daunting.
It has been said, “You will know the heart of a community by how well it takes care of its poor.”
We pray the heart of our community is generous, compassionate, and responsive. We make this prayer because without the help of donors like you, we cannot continue to so readily absorb another year of double-digit growth in demand for our services. Would you consider pledging your support to provide one visit a month, or even one a week, to help Ms. B and so many more just like her?
Please, join our other supporters in making it clear the heart of Gwinnett County is a strong, generous, compassionate, responsive, loving heart!