Free Medical Clinic: Christmas Update

Photo contributed

Photo contributed

Director Kathy Baxley Hancock shared what’s been happening at The Free Medical Clinic of Darlington County:

The clinic serves the “working poor” who have found themselves unable to provide health insurance for their families because of the costs, and had to choose between utility and food costs vs. health insurance premiums; basic needs always win out. They come to the Clinic to find out the medical care is the same quality of care they would receive in any other office, with medicines and needed testing provided. As the patients continue to work as hard as they can to provide for their families, volunteers take notice and reach out to show them more kindness and love, especially during the Thanksgiving and Christmas season.

The week before Thanksgiving, Epworth Methodist Church in Darlington contacted the Chamber of Commerce and asked the Director to us. A gift was arranged from this congregation of 22 to the patients of the Clinics in both cities of a Thanksgiving dinner for their families. On Tuesday, November 24, six people arrived with four larges boxes of Butterball turkeys and bags and bags of side items for the meals including pies and drinks. The patients that had been contacted and signed up for the gift started appearing at 9 o’clock that morning and were so blessed by this expression of love. Sixteen patient families received enough food for a family of 4 that day and the other 19 bags were taken to Hartsville and Lamar where more patients came to receive this assistance.

This month, a local women’s bible study group in Hartsville purchased Christmas gifts of $25 or less for children of all ages and wrapping paper, bags, tissue paper, ribbon, and tags. Their wish was for the patients with children or grandchildren to be able to “Christmas shop” for one present for each of them and giftwrap it for them. The patients were so touched by this kindness, saying with tears, “I had just told my grandkids that I wasn’t going to be able to get them anything this year.” As the patients shopped, they kept commenting on how kind this was. Staff took advantage of this chance to talk to them about the real reason for the season.

Another kindness that takes place all during the year is Nancy Myers, Director of the Community Garden, who brings bags of food from folks that have planted and maintained gardent plots. The patients receive fresh produce grown and donated for them to enjoy. The Garden is an amazing way for people to learn how to grow their own vegetables and other items that have so much more nutritional value than much of what we purchase at our grocery stores.The Free Medical Clinic of Darlington County is just one of the local organizations that receives these gifts.

It’s these quiet acts of generosity and love that rarely is known about which makes up the fabric of our lives in this community.

Click the link to learn more: The Free Medical Clinic of Darlington County.

Author: Jana Pye

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