MHC had assistance from the Mobile Market, Women’s Legacy Circle and Employee Volunteers in Action (EVA) with Eastern Illinois Food Bank, which coordinated a food distribution at the same time. Besides taking care of their healthcare needs, students and their families dealing with food insecurities left with some groceries. Other community members coming for the food saw the MHC in action.
“It was warm out, but we made it easy and as simple as possible for families to get care,” Kelly Parker, RN manager, Mobile Health Services, Community Health Initiatives, said. “MHC goes to many different areas and brings out our doctors from those communities to help. It’s great for everyone to see Carle do this. We’re helping keep kids safe and in school.”
“Rantoul is engaged as a partner. They schedule students for us and help with whatever our team needs to be successful,,” Parker said.
Fresh produce valued at nearly $800 as well as ears of sweet corn from Clearview Farm in Champaign reached families who attended the event.
“It was nice because the EIF distribution was a partial choice program, so people could pick out what they wanted,” Wendy Hiles, business partner, HR and EVA committee member, said. “A volunteer pushed a cart down the line with them, helping families pick out everything and then helped them to their car. The leftovers went to the Don Moyer Boys & Girls Club.”
For MHC’s back-to-school events to be a success, it takes a lot of volunteers to create a seamless flow and volunteers are always needed.
“These events keep getting bigger, and people are noticing us. Not just that, but they’re so thankful. Families appreciate the food. They were able to walk away with four to five bags of groceries and additional resources,” Parker said.
Michelle Ramage from the Women’s Legacy Circle volunteered at the event. She talked with families and helped them find their way to complete their immunizations.
“I liked assisting families with the immunizations,” Ramage said. “I was standing next to that tent and keeping them preoccupied as much as possible as they waited. I understand that we had a record turnout that day. It was an incredibly amazing event that our district person, Darcy (Widener), assists in coordinating, so it’s most successful for families and benefits our district processes for collecting medical information needed to start school. We are thrilled to have this relationship with Carle to bring services into the village for our families.”
Partnering with different school districts makes it easier for families, too. If they ever lose any of their paperwork from MHC, they just call the school.
EVA piggybacked on the event as they like to sponsor two food drives a year. The next one is Saturday, Aug. 28, from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., in Danville.
“I’ve been with the organization for close to a year and a half and was impressed by how well everything flowed,” Hiles said. “I’m curious to know if people know about everything that Carle is doing for our surrounding communities. This was such a great event.”
To learn more about the Mobile Health Clinic schedule, go to carle.org/mobilehealthclinic.
Categories: Staying Healthy