In years past, we referred to our annual event as Hearts and Hands United, and during that event we celebrated our donors (the Hearts) and volunteers (the Hands) who have helped us to further the mission of Good Sam Gwinnett. We continue to celebrate our donors and volunteers because they are essential to our mission, surely we would not accomplish so much each year without their favor. Last year, our theme for Hearts and Hands United was We Are One Neighborhood, our nod to the question asked of Jesus, who is my neighbor? Of course, Christ’s answer was to tell the parable of the Good Samaritan, making it clear our neighbor is indeed every living person.
Inspired to serve our neighbors well, years ago we made several strategic decisions that have resulted in the Good Samaritan Health Center of Gwinnett we know today. For example, while we are “of Gwinnett” we are not only for Gwinnett. We do not limit our eligible customers to just those residing in Gwinnett County. In fact, we count more than a dozen counties among our patients’ addresses, with Fulton and DeKalb Counties being represented by 17% of all people using our services. We also intentionally discontinued our use of other traditional eligibility criteria most charitable health clinics employ to manage utilization of their services and resultant overhead. Yes, these decisions resulted in more people using our organization for health and dental care, witness our eight consecutive years of record growth, but to us, and we hope to you as well, that’s a good thing.
After all, what church says, “Enough already; no more people in the pews!”?
Recently, we were inspired by Matthew 10, that chapter commonly known as Jesus Sends Out the Twelve. This chapter makes it clear the disciples weren’t to draw people to Jesus by asking them to travel to Bethlehem. Instead, they were sent out into the region as ambassadors to Christ to proclaim the good news of the kingdom and heal every disease and sickness.
In Georgia, there are sixty-three counties that do not have a pediatrician, eighty-four without a psychiatrist, and eight with no doctors at all. Without access to the proper doctors, many rural patients have to drive outside their counties for treatment. However, such trips are challenging for lower-income families. We may or may not expand into other underserved counties, only God knows and time will tell, but it is within our capacity today to expand within Gwinnett County to make our services more conveniently accessible to those who need us.
We are grateful to the North Gwinnett Cooperative Ministry and HomeFirst Gwinnett for partnering with us so that we may send our disciples in scrubs out into the county. We also thank the Gwinnett Daily Post for featuring our partnerships in a recent article about our expansion in Gwinnett County through the Quick Clinic concept.
If you support what we are doing for our poor and uninsured neighbors, please understand we need your help in the form of financial contributions if we are to continue in this good but expensive work. You may make a donation right now if you wish. You could also join us Thursday, October 3 for our annual event, now known as the Good Neighbor Benefit Gala. This year we will be at the beautiful Ashton Gardens in Sugar Hill. With food stations that promise to tantalize your taste buds, fun entertainment, and various fundraising activities (silent auction, wine raffle) to choose from, you will have a memorable evening with 350 of your friendly neighbors. Please join us for our most important event of the year and help us to continue our mission for the benefit of the poor and uninsured of our communities. Tickets are available now.