07 Aug 2019 Free Pain Clinic Uses Holistic Treatment Provides Relief
by Janelle Beaber, Development Director
Two and a half years ago, I was introduced to an organization who was changing the lives of pain patients in our community. These patients had no insurance and no financial resources to get the help they needed. They relied on the Southwest Florida Free Pain Clinic to treat their pain at the source using holistic methods, without the use of addictive opioids. As I learned more about this free pain clinic, I found out they were operating out of a donated church building just one night a week. People would come from all over the county on Tuesday nights to find relief from their suffering. They would pile into the church waiting room with dozens of other people seeking relief from their pain. After treatment they would head home, knowing they’d have to wait a whole week to receive these services again.
The more I learned about this organization, the more inspired I became. The clinic had been operating for years, solely through volunteers. Each week, more than 20 volunteer healthcare providers would show up to lay hands on strangers. They would use their gifts and talents to provide free medical and chiropractic care, physical and massage therapy, essential oil therapy, modalities, lifestyle and nutrition education, and other services proven to treat pain at the source. They would show up each and every week to pray over strangers in hopes of giving them a better life, free from pain.
Over the past two years, I have watched passionate volunteer board members participate in patient support, event planning, and fundraising. I’ve watched donors grasp the heart of this ministry and support it through funding, advocacy, and prayer. I’ve watched dedicated volunteers rally together to treat patients, help with events, and invite friends to be part of this team. And I’ve shared in the joy as this small, one night weekly ministry grew into an organization operating daytime hours with paid staff, helping more patients in need each and every week.
Even more important than all of this though, are the lives I’ve seen changed through the Southwest Florida Free Pain Clinic. I had no idea that 1 in 3 Americans have someone close to them suffering from acute and chronic pain. I’ve witnessed Danielle transform from 20 years of being bed-ridden due to pain, to a mom enjoying amusement parks with her children. I’ve watched Richard share his story of addiction to Percocet, to overcoming addiction through pain treatment at the clinic. I’ve watched Sondra break down in tears over the kindness of volunteers helping her find relief from chronic back pain; and I’ve smiled watching Marilyn nervously share her pain filled journey to regaining her life during an interview with WINK News.
These stories of hope would not be possible without the Southwest Florida Community Foundation, volunteers, and donors who invest in making this community a better place to live. To find out more about the clinic and how you can get involved, visit www.freepainclinic.org, email [email protected], or call 239-308-7107.
This summer, Florida Weekly has graciously allowed us, the Southwest Florida Community Foundation, to spotlight the nonprofit organizations funded through the Foundation’s 2019 competitive grant cycle. Funds made available for these grants are graciously given by donors through Field of Interest Funds. Many of these donors are deceased and have left instructions to the Foundation on the causes they care about and then rely on the Foundation team to address the communities’ greatest needs within the established criteria by the donor. We have asked these grantees to share their stories. We are pleased to partner with these change-makers.
The Southwest Florida Community Foundation, founded in 1976, cultivates regional change for the common good through collective leadership, social innovation and philanthropy to address the evolving community needs in Lee, Collier, Charlotte, Hendry and Glades counties. The Foundation partners with individuals, families and corporations who have created more than 400 philanthropic funds. Thanks to them, the Foundation invested $6.8 million in grants and programs to the community. With assets of more than $126 million, it has provided $78.2 million in grants and scholarships to the communities it serves since inception. The Foundation is the backbone organization for the regional FutureMakers Coalition and Lee County’s Sustainability Plan. The Southwest Florida Community Foundation’s regional headquarters are now located in the historic ACL Train Depot at Collaboratory in downtown Fort Myers, with a satellite office located in LaBelle (Hendry County). For more information, call 239-274-5900 or visit www.floridacommunity.com.