Clinic’s Generosity Heals Lives

Homeless and injured from being beaten up and robbed, a man showed up at Genesis Family Medical Center for help.

His needs were much greater than the minor physical treatment he received. He needed shoes and medications, which had been stolen from him.

He needed dignity.

He needed someone who cared. Someone who cared not because there was something in it for them, but a resolute form of caring provided because he was in need.

The destitute man was in the right place. He left the clinic feeling better physically and emotionally.

The man made a lasting impression on clinic staff. The first of several efforts to serve the needs of patients, beyond their physical needs, began because of the plight of this homeless man.

Within days, staff had gathered 206 pairs of shoes. Surely if this man had no shoes, there were others.

Many of the donated shoes were new; others gently used. The shoes not taken by patients in need were given to the Salvation Army family shelter in Davenport.

“My husband, Jason, had benefited from the Salvation Army when he was a kid,’’ said Missi Sandoval, a medical assistant who is the force and spirit behind the clinic’s efforts. “We like the Salvation Army because they do their best to keep homeless families together.’’

Since the original shoe drive, there have been drives to collect school supplies for young patients and an ongoing effort to collect winter hats, mittens and boots.

A few months ago, an 80-year-old woman who had only recently gained the custody of her four homeless grandchildren received shoes, food and milk.

“They didn’t have anything. I’ve been there myself,’’ said Sandoval, who is a non-traditional nursing student after working in the gaming industry. “I was a young, single mom who lived a lot on cornflakes and Ramen noodles. Anything helps at that point.’’

Sandoval calls the rewards of giving back “magnificent.”

The clinic staff at Genesis Family Medical Center is not only healing patients; the staff is healing lives.