South Central Health Fair: Breathing Life Into Service
I had such a great experience at this Compassion Cell that I have to say something. This Compassion Cell went down in the parking lot of the Central City Community Center in LA’s South Central neighborhood. The purpose of the Health Fair was manifold, but the two obvious ones were for Be The Cause to reach out to the local community and, secondly, to publicize the health care services available to South Central residents free of charge. Almost anyone can visit the clinic, no questions asked, and to my understanding with or without American citizenship. Yes, health care is a human right.
I arrived late with a fellow volunteer, and we felt bad about that. I decided I had no real excuse to not have arrived at 9 o’clock like the other volunteers. At least, I comforted myself, we made it and chances are we’re staying till the end–glass half full? Once there, everything just fell into place.
There were a few booths staffed by organizations working with the same target population, mothers-to-be and new mothers from low-income or underserved communities, I’m guessing, in the greater LA area. There was the Central City mobile clinic providing diabetes screenings and blood pressure tests. There were food, face-painting, toys, books, literature touching on alcoholism to breastfeeding to HIV/AIDS, and…people! There were moments when the fact that volunteers outnumbered visitors was wanting, but, you know what, the whole event was really a beautiful thing. Some visitors expressed heartfelt thanks and others who didn’t come but were given a flyer acknowledged our efforts.
Because the Health Fair was done in service to others, it was a success. If anyone (because of our flyer/because of our presence/because of their visit to the Health Fair/because of their merely driving by and seeing the banner…) goes back to Central City for a check-up, then our service has acquired a life of its own–we breathed life into our service. It’s service that can residually effect positive changes even after the event has happened and the volunteers are out of sight.