Tremendous! Impressive! Amazing! This is how volunteers, patients, and community members alike described the most recent Your Best Pathway to Health (Pathway to Health) event, a three-day mega clinic held in Fort Worth, Texas, on September 19-21, 2018. The eighth in a series of “Pathway to Health” community health clinics held in cities around the U.S. over the past five years, the Fort Worth event stands out as one of the most unique.
“We had 2,200 volunteers, and approximately 50-75 percent of them were new,” said Kim Goodge, who manages volunteer registration for Pathway to Health. “We also had a large number of volunteers who are not members of our church—probably the largest ever,” she added.
Also noteworthy is the large number of school groups — more than in any previous event, with the exception of Los Angeles [California] — that came to volunteer. These numbers are indicative of a growing trend in both the Seventh-day Adventist Church and the community: Many people have the desire to serve, to make a difference in the lives of others, and to be the “hands and feet” of Jesus. And the volunteers in Fort Worth did just that with more than 6,800 patients receiving more than $25,000,000 in services provided.
It Gets in Your Blood
When asked, “Why do you do this?” Carol Schaefer, who worked in patient registration in Fort Worth and at three previous events, responded, “It’s what Jesus did when He was on the earth — helping people in their daily needs.”
Debra Dehning, general manager of the cardiology department, who, along with her physician husband, has volunteered in six clinics, beginning with Pathway to Health San Antonio [Texas] in 2015. “It gets in your blood,” she says, “and you can’t quit!”