RX

A Healing Touch for Our Neighbors

RX

A Healing Touch for Our Neighbors

By Dan Philips
The COVID pandemic has affected how our Loaves & Fish program provides medical outreach, and only recently were we able to resume providing blood pressure and blood sugar checks. In September, we began offering these services twice a month, in a way that limits the potential COVID exposure to our guests and volunteer providers.

For years, we’ve fed the bodies and souls of our neighbors with nourishment delivered with the love of Jesus Christ. Besides lunch and groceries for the week ahead, our neighbors count on us for information and services that help them live and remain physically healthy. Normally, the Thomas Phillips Medical Clinic helps us check the medical conditions of the guests in our clinic on a weekly basis, giving treatment and direction to help them live and stay healthy.

Twice a month, volunteer nurses and doctors from the Methodist College of Nursing and University of Illinois College of Medicine are onsite providing services, supervised by our regular clinic nurses and volunteers. Our clinic has developed relationships with many of our guests, and this has helped many take steps towards healthier living and recovery from illnesses. These relationships are also beneficial to volunteers, who receive training experience that can't be taught in a classroom.

Loaves & Fish also provides health services throughout the year, including annual flu shots, and providing health and wellness information. On September 17, we offered some of these services again with visits from the Hult Center for Healthy Living, and from Friends of Central Illinois. Friends has been a regular part of our ministry for years, with valuable info about AIDS/HIV, and sexually transmitted diseases. The Hult Center brought COVID-19 kits that included reusable masks, hand sanitizer, an educational booklet, a dental kit, and information about other local community resources.

Education was provided on how to properly wear a mask, proper hand washing, use of hand sanitizer, social distancing (remaining six feet apart), signs and symptoms, and knowing where/when to get tested. Participants were very receptive and thankful.

The pandemic is different for everyone, but the one thing that remains the same is the love of our Heavenly Father. Please continue to support the selfless work of our Loaves & Fish volunteers and those in our community that put the needs of others ahead of their own.