Every year, Grace Community Church in Noblesville, Indiana shuts its doors, cancels its services and sends its congregation out to do service projects all over the city.  This year, World Next Door sent a team of volunteer journalists from Grace’s congregation to tell some of the stories from the weekend.

This is one of those stories.

To read all of the Weekend of Service articles, click here.

————–

Trinity Free Clinic

Written by Bethany Ulrich

Photos by Justin Ulrich

The hum of busy contentment fills the air. A teenage girl cheerily wipes down some wooden toys, an older gentleman concentrates as his paint brush methodically moves up and down. A two year old shrieks “project… help!” as he once again interrupts the path of the vacuum.  The excitement of service mixed with camaraderie is contagious.

A clinic with a clear purpose.

A clinic with a clear purpose.

Dental care is one of the many services provided.

Dental care is one of the many services provided.

An eye chart for illiterate patients, a need for this exists even in Hamiliton County.

An eye chart for illiterate patients, a need for this exists even in Hamiliton County.

I continue to wander down the hall, as an elderly woman walks in. She shyly meets my gaze with a humble hello. We exchange pleasantries and she introduces herself as the volunteer coordinator for Trinity Free Clinic. She explains that their mission is to provide free medical, health, and dental support to the uninsured and low income residents of Hamilton County. She further explains that every Saturday from 9-12, 30 or 40 people will line up waiting to receive care. She adds that they also provide a Spanish interpreter, health education, and social service assistance to connect them to community resources. The clinic, she says, also offers additional services such as eye, foot, asthma, and even a women’s clinic.

"Five branches of Care Tree" - Each leaf represents a wish list item that is needed for care in that field.

"Five branches of Care Tree" - Each leaf represents a wish list item that is needed for care in that field.

I am curious to know how her involvement with the clinic has affected her personally. She states “I think people think that Carmel equals wealthy which equals there is no need.” This simply isn’t true.  She adds “It certainly makes you appreciative of your own situation. “She is amazed at how grateful the patients are, and how willingly the volunteers give of their time. She believes God is truly at work when she sees the clinic, which takes 350-400 volunteers, run smoothly with little or no government assistance.  When I ask her how we can get involved, her warm smile broadens and her joy in me simply asking the question is apparent.  “There’s something for everyone…from doctors, to pharmacists, to interpreters, to administrative assistants, medical assistants, and even reading to children….we could use your help.”

As I thank her for her time my mind is rapidly churning. I stare at an empty dental chair, as I ponder how insular I can be and what excuses I have used to foster this mindset.  “I don‘t have time to volunteer on a regular basis.”, “I need to spend more quality time with my family”… “I don’t want to have to drive so far to serve”, “I don’t feel safe having to drive downtown”, and the list continues… My guilt laden thoughts are interrupted by our youngest volunteer. “Helping!” he shouts as he shines a flashlight he’s found onto the carpet floor. It reminds me that Christ commands us, great or small, young or old, to help those in need.  “There’s something for everyone…” she said.

There’s something for me.

Enjoy this post? Get future updates sent to you for free! Join by email or RSS

Next Steps
    • Check out www.trinityfreeclinic.org.
    • Register for their annual 5K run/walk on October 31st at 9am, to help raise awareness and support!
    • Sign up to volunteer once a quarter, once a month for flexible 3 hr. block scheduling.
    • Donate medical/dental supplies, food, car seats, bike helmets, etc….
    • Contact Barbara Hittle (barbara@trinityfreeclinic.org) to get involved!
    Next Steps

About the Author: Every year, Grace Community Church in Noblesville, Indiana shuts its doors, cancels its services and sends its congregation out to do service projects all over the city. This team of volunteer journalists from Grace’s congregation told some of the stories from the weekend.

More posts by Follow Weekend of Service on Twitter


Comments

  1. KIm said... 

    Reply

    October 28th, 2009 at 12:16 pm  

    Thanks for opening our eyes to this need in the community. Great job Ulrichs!!! :)

    Love,
    Kim

  2. carmel dentists said... 

    Reply

    December 10th, 2012 at 3:34 am  

    Hey, nice post, especially I liked that “Five branches of Care Tree” great work.

Leave a Reply