Assisting those who are in need is a noble effort

November 20, 2011

If they think about it, both supporters and opponents of national health care should be able to find common ground on the virtues of the Community Free Clinic.

By helping the uninsured, the clinic both expands health care accessibility and does its part to take pressure off the traditional health care system, thereby making full government takeover a bit less necessary.

A drop in the bucket, perhaps, but don't tell that to the men, women and children who find relief from their ailments only by the grace of the free clinic and its supporters, be they medical professionals or contributors.

It is to the community's credit that it successfully responded to a $10,000 challenge last year that matched its donations dollar for dollar. But with donations still lagging by 50 percent compared to a year ago, there is more work to do.

Already, the clinic has had to stop seeing new patients and has had to tinker with its schedule in order to save a few dollars on utility bills.

Treating the sick is one imperative that dissolves our differences, be they political, religious or cultural. It's an area in which we can all join hands.

With the holidays and colder weather on the doorstep, we should be generous to the Community Free Clinic, as well as to other agencies that help those who need it most, such as the Washington County Community Action Council, which provides essentials such as food and heating assistance, and REACH of Washington County, which runs the cold-weather shelter.

The economy has touched most of us. Many reading this will have felt its effects. But when a difficult economy affects those of us with work a little, it affects those of us without work exponentially. It might be harder to give this winter, which only means that our gifts are needed all the more.

We thank all contributors, past and future, for opening their hearts and perpetuating Washington County's reputation as a community that cares for its fellows who are in need.

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