Fitting in and Feeling Called to Serve

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Linda Hicks usually volunteers every Tuesday at the ABCCM Medical Ministry. During the middle of September, however, she was at the Livingston Street clinic nearly every day.

“Normally I’m just here one day a week, but I’m working on a special project right now,” Linda said with a smile during a break from reorganizing medical files. “My parents, who live with me, were surprised that I came in on a day that wasn’t Tuesday, but they know I need my volunteering. When you get to help people and see the need, you feel compelled to do as much as you can for them.”

Linda has been serving at the Medical Ministry for nearly two years. She does a lot of behind-the-scenes work in data entry and filing, and also meets with patients when they first come into the clinic. Data entry and filing are critical to the clinic’s function, but volunteers such as Linda have the biggest impact when they are sitting across from those desperately in need of health care.

“You just feel for them,” she says. “I can’t help them medically, but I try to pick them up because they’re in a tough situation. In my heart I pray for them, because some of them come in with very sad stories.”

Linda is able to have compassion for patients because she loves volunteering at the clinic. Linda spent 25 years working for Aramark, a service company in the areas of food, facilities management and uniforms. As a housekeeping and laundry manager, she spent a lot of time in hospitals and enjoyed being in health-care settings. But moving around to seven different states during her employment meant she wasn’t always making strong connections with her work family.

When Linda retired in 2013, she took training classes at Goodwill including an electronic medical records course. During one of the classes, a Medical Ministry volunteer coordinator visited to speak about volunteer opportunities. Linda signed up as a volunteer.

“At the time I felt like I needed to do something else and when that door opened, I was led by the Lord,” Linda says. “After working so many years, this is the best job I’ve had.  I never really fit in anywhere until I came here, because this feels like family. You’ve got to love what you’re doing to do it effectively, is what it comes down to. If you do that, it will overflow to the people we serve.”

Let your love overflow to those we serve in ABCCM’s Medical Ministry! The clinic needs volunteer medical and dental providers, nurses, pharmacists and technicians, receptionists and clerical workers. Contact Maia Price, the Medical Ministry volunteer coordinator, at maia.price@abccm.org or call (828) 398-6690.