DSC_9288-492x326Tonight marks the seventh year that Northwind Pharmaceuticals has sponsored Art for Beds, Gennesaret Free Clinic’s annual fundraiser.  Gennesaret Free Clinics (GFC) is an Indianapolis-based organization dedicated to providing safety-net health care services to the homeless and working poor in our city.  For over 25 years, GFC has helped people get back on their feet through a collection of clinic locations including a mobile medical van.  Working with minimal staff, GFC enjoys the support of dedicated volunteers and donors to fulfill its mission.  Here are some highlights for the last six months:

  • Care provided to over 720 people in 5 medical clinics.
  • 420 patient visits in the GFC Wellness Clinic (which is designed to treat chronic conditions).
  • 3,573 procedures held in the GFC Dental Clinic.
  • The GFC Health Recovery Program for Men provided recuperative care to 20 individuals discharged from area hospitals with nowhere to go.
  • GFC acquired a property to establish a Health Recovery Program for Women that will open this Fall.

GFC is a great organization, managed by a great team of people.  There are tremendous needs in our world and Gennesaret is just one group of kind people trying to make a difference.  And that is the point.

We are called to make a difference; we are called to give.  Each according to his/her abilities.  The opportunity to give presents itself in many ways.  As a volunteer-driven organization, GFC is dependent on highly trained medical and dental professionals to donate their skills to serve Gennesaret’s patients.  It is a beautiful thing to behold and it brings me joy to see it in action.

For me, there are a number of keys when determining where to invest my time, talent, and treasure.  Let me know if any of these resonate with you:

  1. Where can I make a difference? There are so many worthwhile organizations, I want to be involved with something in which I can truly make an impact.
  2. Where does it intersect with my life? GFC is a great fit for me because it serves my community and it is healthcare based.
  3. Who does the organization serve?  We all fall down from time to time, I like charities that help people get back on their feet.  GFC’s mission focuses on inner-city Indianapolis but it draws people from many situations within the city. The organization is very effective at supporting health recovery and life improvement for its patients.
  4. Who leads the organization?  A huge part of my involvement in GFC is based on its leadership.  I buy-in to the people and want to be involved in the good work they are doing.
  5. Is the organization making a difference?  Let’s face it, we all want to be on a winning team.  I like to support organizations that are making things happen.  GFC serves thousands of patients every year and has been successful for over 25 years.  It is a great story.

Tonight, we’ll take a moment to celebrate this organization and the people who make it happen.  But mostly, we’ll focus on those we serve and the challenges they face. In the end, we hope to make a difference in some way in the world around us and though it will never be perfect, it is a worthy objective.