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Arthur Nagel Community Clinic offers thanks

By K. Irene Stone Execut

At the Arthur Nagel Community Clinic, we think of our volunteers and donors as part of our clinic family.
A new year gives me the opportunity to say, “Thank You” to all of you who have given so much in 2010, which made it possible for the clinic to care for literally thousands of Bandera County residents. You are truly an essential part of the clinic’s healing ministry.
Because of your support - either monetarily or with the gift of time and energy - the clinic is able to receive major foundation grants and keep its 501(c)(3) nonprofit status. Foundations do not make grants to an organization that is not valued and supported by its community.
That is another reason we are so appreciative of the generosity and kindness of our volunteers and donors.
In Bandera County, we are blessed to have neighbors who feel the need to give back, who open their hearts to others and who sacrifice their time to help their community. The volunteers of the Arthur Nagel Community Clinic belong to this special group.
Let me tell you a little bit about our clinic volunteers. They are not members of the Junior League or retired with nothing else to do. They all have very busy lives and come from all walks of life, bringing with them a diversity of skills and knowledge.
Some of our volunteers started out as our patients and decided that volunteering at the clinic would be a way to give back to the community. They were very appreciative of the care they received and wanted to help others as they were helped.
We have two volunteers whose husbands are ministers. Several belong to area churches and schedule their time at the clinic around the days they don’t have Ladies Bible Class. They see the clinic as a way to demonstrate the loving message of their Christian faith.
Some volunteers, who have lost loved ones, try to fill the void by helping others. Many of our younger volunteers are looking for fulltime jobs. By volunteering at the clinic, they improve their job skills and enhance their resumes. And, as they often confide in me, this is a way for them to stay busy and feel good about themselves during a time that is normally tough on one’s self esteem.
Our volunteer medical professionals are all fulltime nurses, who make time to share their skills at the clinic - even if it is just one morning a week. When you consider their busy work schedules, it’s amazing to me that they can find even that time. We are also lucky to have two EMS personnel onboard. Their experience in dealing with emergencies is a big help to our staff when we have a critical patient.
This brings me to a very special volunteer - our 2010 Volunteer of the Year, Sabrina McGugin. An energetic mother of five, Sabrina recently graduated as valedictorian of her Certified Medical Assistants Program. Given the recession and her lack of work experience, she had difficulty finding a job in her field, so Sabrina joined our team at the clinic, becoming our Prescription Assistance Program Administrator. She has been invaluable in finding free medical samples for our clinic.
Additionally, she steps in as lab technician when we are shorthanded, and has put in over 950 volunteer hours - more than any other volunteer.
Recently, Sabrina accepted a position at Wal-Mart, but made sure that her supervisor scheduled her for evening hours so she could still work days at the clinic. Sabrina’s dedication and commitment are an inspiration to the whole staff.
I can’t end this note of thanks, though, without a big “Thank You” to our donors, sponsors, and underwriters - the people who give time and time again to support our work of caring for those with no other access to medical care in Bandera County. While most of our donors live in the county, some are in the big cities, too. Our local benefactors include churches and businesses, as well as individuals. Their shared commonality is their understanding of the need for the Arthur Nagel Community Clinic; their knowledge of its mission; and their desire to be a part of it.
So, whether you are a clinic volunteer or donor, there is one thing you can know as we begin the year 2011 - you have the heartfelt thanks of all of us at the Arthur Nagel Community Clinic. You are helping us save lives, and that makes you the true heroes in our eyes. God bless.