Hope Clinic hosted its annual Seeds of Hope fundraising event Thursday night at the Midlothian Conference Center. Members of the community were invited to learn more about the services the clinic provides in an effort to become a partner through giving, and sow “seeds of hope” for residents of Ellis County.

Pat Moriarty, a close friend of Dr. Mackie Owens (chief executive officer of Hope Clinic) was given the task of “batting cleanup” or asking people in attendance to give.

“I'm with Waxahachie Toastmasters,” Moriarty said. “I'm here because Dr. Owens said 'you are going to be the one to ask for money.'”

Continuing his plea for donations, Moriarty relayed a story that he hoped would ignite a passion among the people and encourage them to give to Hope Clinic.

“I heard a story about a preacher who found himself in the same same situation that I find myself in tonight,” he said. “The preacher had been studying the church records and knew that he was going to have to ask the congregation for money. He prayed and asked God to show him the way, then he suddenly had an idea.”

Moriarty said the preacher found himself standing before the congregation telling them that there was good news and bad news.

“I have good news and bad news,” Moriarty said of the preacher. “I have been studying all the needs and wants of the church and came to the realization that we have the money. The bad news is that it's in your pocket.”

As members of the audience laughed, he said, “This event is about providing hope to the community. That is the heart and mission of Hope Clinic, and that is why we need your help tonight. You have a great opportunity to be a hero to many in our community. Tonight, we are asking you to plant a seed.”

Directing people to the packets on their tables, Moriarty told them that this is their opportunity “sow seeds of hope” and give financially to an organization that has been beneficial to Ellis County.

Not only did they have an opportunity to give to the clinic, but they were able to put a face with why they should give. Sylvia Trevino, an employee of Hope Clinic at one time desperately needed its services.

“I became a patient in 2000, because of my health issues and no insurance,” Trevino said. “Then I went through a very difficult time when my husband of 13 years passed away.”

Trevino said not only was he the love of her life, but he was the sole provider of their family.

“It was mentally, physically and emotionally disturbing for me,” she said. “I received the help that I needed from Hope Clinic. I am now an employee of Hope Clinic and I'm very thankful for the support.”

Owens said it's people like Trevino that truly benefit from the services they provide. And as she spoke to the audience, she conveyed a story about a gentleman named Thomas who was in need of medical care. She said Hope Clinic was the only place he knew to turn to and could afford.

“There was a young man named Thomas who came to the clinic in 2000,” Owens said. “He was in his 30s and was disable. He had no one to help him other than his mother. She came to the clinic at a time when our office visits cost $3.”

Owens said in 2010 Thomas came in complaining of a bad tooth, and no money for food. His mother was no longer around to help him, because she had passed away, and he went to the only place he knew could help him.

“We were able to help him with his medical problem, his dental problem and we connected him with the food pantry,” she said. “Not everybody that comes to Hope is as poor as Thomas, but everyone who comes to Hope Clinic comes because they know we'll be there.”

Owens informed the audience that when came together to establish the clinic they researched the state of healthcare in the county. They found that 23 percent of the people were uninsured or underinsured. They came together and proposed a solution and Hope Clinic began.

“There are 170,000 people in Ellis County and 40,000 people are uninsured,” she said. “That is 1 of every 4 people you see in the grocery store or in your church. Some have medicaid, but people who earn less than 100 percent do not qualify for Affordable Healthcare.”

Owens went on to say that they have seven providers, and now they offer care 298 hours per week.

She said grandchildren talk to her all the time about heroes.

“Did you know that in the Bible heroes were people that changed things,” Owens said. “Social change requires heroes. There have been many heroes in our history and I hope many of you will join us and become local heroes to help us continue to provide care for the residents of Ellis County. Without you Hope can not be an anchor.”

For more information about Hope Clinic, visit www.call4hope.org.

About Hope Clinic

Hope Clinic was originally established in 1999 as a faith-based, not-for-profit corporation, the Ellis County Coalition for Health Options, providing comprehensive health care services for the entire family. Located in Waxahachie, the Clinic offers a sliding fee discount to the uninsured and under served in and around Ellis County.

Hope Clinic provides comprehensive health care services including adult and pediatric primary health care, women’s health, dental care and restoration, and behavioral health assessment and treatment at fees based on income and household size for the uninsured and the under served.  Additional services such as prescription assistance, benefits counseling, case management, diabetes education and support, and nutrition and health education are also provided. We seek to establish a patient-centered medical home for our patients.

Follow Melissa on Facebook.com/MelissaCadeWDL. Contact her at 469-517-1450 or melissa.cade@waxahachietx.com.