Sunday, November 6, 2016

What would you do?

What would you do if you were in extreme pain from an abscessed tooth?  You and I would go to the dentist, right?

What if you had no insurance and couldn’t afford to go?  Most of us that have faced extreme pain in any fashion just can’t imagine what it would be like if we just had to tough it out. 

Twice in my life, I have performed my own dental surgery.  No, I was not bored and looking for something off the wall to do.  I was in places where there was no dentist and I couldn’t just leave and go back to civilization and find one.  I did have the luxury of having antibiotics flown in to me so as to fight the original infection and any infection caused by my self-mutilation.  Yes, this was damage that I had done to myself in the process of relieving that extreme pain brought on by an abscessed tooth.

My point is not that I secretly desired to be a dentist.  I didn’t and I don’t and on top of that I wasn’t very good at it.  It is that I would have rather perform very clumsy surgery on myself with a heated Swiss Army Knife than endure any more of the pain that was throbbing in my body.

Would I do the same thing now in the middle of the civilized world if I had no insurance or money?  It is not a crazy question, but it is insane that someone might have to ask that question in our modern world.  What do you do when you can’t afford to get medical or dental treatment?  What do you do when the pain is so great, you are ready to become your own surgeon?

I hope that nobody must ask that question in these parts because there is an answer.  Well, there is an answer as long as those of us who are blessed remain generous.  We have the means and desire and knowhow to provide medical and dental treatment to those who don’t have insurance or money, but we need money to continue operations.  And so we come to the heart of the matter.

The time for the Western Oklahoma Family Care Center Fundraising Banquet is approaching fast.  It will be on Tuesday, 15 November 2016 at the Elk City Civic Center.  The silent auction begins at 6:00 p.m. and the program and meal commence shortly thereafter.  This year’s theme is Unsung Heroes.

What’s the big deal about the Western Oklahoma Family Care Center?

This is a place where people who can barely keep their heads above water go for help.  They may have a minimum wage job and generally get by in life, but one week of missing work due to an accident or the flu or four kids out of school with the flu and suddenly the electric bill is past due.  The Family Care Center has rescued many a family that were trying hard to make it in life but just needed a little boost when the cutoff notice arrived a week before the next paycheck.

Have you ever had an abscessed tooth?  That’s normally not something that you tough out and hope it goes away, but some people don’t have the money or insurance needed to get it fixed.  Many have found relief at the Hope Clinic.  Others come for other reasons but the common denominator is that they can’t afford to go anywhere else.  Whether you like the Affordable Care Act or hate it with a passion; there is still a large part of our community that has no health insurance and can’t afford to get it.  That does not mean they cannot get care.  Over the past few years, the two clinics that are a part of the WOFCC have provided the equivalent of more than 1 million dollars’ worth of services to patients at no cost to them.

The clinic pharmacy has also provided medication to people at no charge.  Some people may be able to afford a $4 copay for a prescription at their local pharmacy but many cannot afford even that and would go without were it not for the WOFCC pharmacy.

Stranded travelers, fire victims, people on the verge of homelessness, and so many more who have just hit a rough spot in their lives have found help at the WOFCC.  Please note that this is a hand up and not a hand out organization.  The WOFCC is a faith based non-profit organization and that means making every encounter with the clientele count.  Workers practice mercy and do it cheerfully but do speak the truth in love.  More than money, so many of our clientele need lifestyle changes, the discipline to budget, and a family of faith to call home.

The WOFCC does its best to guide, mentor, counsel, and even challenge those served to know a better way of life.  Many of the people that are helped are just focused on the short-term issue but those who serve on the board, the few employees in the organization, and the volunteers are focused on helping people for the long haul as well.  All who are called to serve have found that the monetary help given, the medical services provided, and everything else that happens during a day of service just come down to loving our neighbor.  Those are familiar words in these parts.

What’s the big deal?  What’s not a big deal?  This is where the rubber meets the road in loving our neighbor in Beckham, Custer, Roger Mills, and Washita Counties.  WOFCC services rely on donations.  The November Fundraiser is critical to continued operations.  Some will donate thousands of dollars, some a few hundred, and others will buy a ticket to the banquet.  All donations help.
You may think that times are tough and this is not the right time to make a donation.  Realize that for many, times are not tough—they are desperate.  Without the WOFCC, many would lose hope.  Even a donation of $25 or $100 helps the clinics serve just a few more patients or maybe keeps the power on for a family with a house full of children.

If you live in Washita County and need a ticket or would like to donate, please contact Reverend Thomas Spence at (580) 562-4706.  If you live in the other three counties that are served, please contact the Western Oklahoma Family Care Center at (580) 225-5500.

Western Oklahoma Family Care Center
Unsung Heroes
Fundraiser Banquet
Tuesday, 15 November 2016
Elk City Civic Center
6:00 p.m.
Tickets $30

Advance Purchase $25

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