Brunch for volunteers

volunteer brunch table groupNearly 3,000 volunteer hours were logged in this last year at the Center for Healing & Hope, thanks to many who contribute their time to make CHH possible.

On Saturday, Nov. 5, the CHH staff hosted volunteers for an annual brunch at Sunnyside Mennonite Church, Elkhart, as a way of expressing gratitude for their faithful partnership to make CHH possible. With the theme “Stories make us stronger,” the event included stories from staff and opportunities for volunteers to share stories with each other.

Sharon Miller, clinic manager, gave a special thanks to doctors, noting, “We have not had to close the clinic for the last 12 months because we have had doctors willing to come.” Without the doctors, she added, it would not be possible to offer the clinics to people who have no insurance or cannot afford medical care for other reasons. In addition, Sharon noted that although 2,942 volunteer hours were logged, the actual number was likely much more.

Bryan Mierau, who began his role as the new executive director of CHH on Oct. 17, shared brief stories from his life as a way of introducing himself to the volunteers. He explained how he often felt a tension between a calling to ministry and wanting to increase his knowledge and skills in health care, so now is glad for being part of the health care ministry of CHH. He is grateful, he said, for “the rich network of support that is needed to sustain and grow the mission of our clinics.”

To the volunteers Bryan said, “Thank you for including the Center for Healing & Hope as part of your story. We couldn’t do it without you.”

Many of the volunteers are medical professionals, including in the last year 28 physicians and 40 nurses; nursing students from several nearly colleges are in addition to these numbers. Other volunteers help with translation, welcoming and hosting patients at the clinics, and assisting with record-keeping. Still others assist with events and fund-raising.

The Center for Healing & Hope provides urgent medical care and advocacy for those who do not have a medical home. Two locations offer four clinics each week: Monday evenings at Grace Lutheran Church in Elkhart; and Tuesday evenings, Thursday evenings and Friday mornings at Plymouth United Methodist Church in Goshen.

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A photo album from the volunteer recognition brunch can be viewed on the CHH Facebook page: