Connecting with Chillicothe: How our presence can make a difference

What if we could use the presence of 500+ Episcopalians and the power of our combined resources to do something that would create a lasting benefit for the community of Chillicothe?

On November 14, hundreds of Episcopalians will descend upon Chillicothe for the 140th annual convention of the Diocese of Southern Ohio. Naturally, our presence there will be beneficial to Chillicothe’s economy in the short term. That’s good, but is it good enough? What if we could use the presence of 500+ Episcopalians and the power of our combined resources to do something that would create a lasting benefit for the community of Chillicothe? Something that will be remembered long after all of the food, lodging and other convention-related purchases have been forgotten. And what if we were able to tie that act of altruism directly back to a local congregation, St. Paul’s Episcopal Church?

Hope Clinic of Ross County was established in 2012 and serves those in need of medical care who have no other means to obtain quality care. It is made up exclusively of hundreds of volunteers, several of whom are members of St. Paul’s, Chillicothe, who freely donate their time, expertise and energy to help those in need. The mission of Hope Clinic is to share the love of Christ by providing basic, sound, quality medical care at no cost to those who have no health insurance in a climate that is accepting, authentic and inviting for people.

The Hope Dental Clinic was established in 2013. Dental care is critical to overall health, yet is often inaccessible to those without insurance coverage due to high cost. Hope Dental Clinic offers exams, x-rays, cleaning, fillings and simple extractions to those in need who do not have insurance coverage. The Dental Clinic is currently in desperate need of a panoramic x-ray machine.

A panoramic x-ray machine costs $22,000. On behalf of St. Paul’s, Chillicothe, Bishop Breidenthal has generously agreed to donate $11,000 from the William Cooper Procter Fund to be used as a matching grant to help raise the $22,000 needed. This donation fits nicely with Criteria Four of the Procter Fund: The use of grants to take advantage of unusual opportunities for advance work in the Church.

With help from the diocesan communications department, St. Paul’s has launched a targeted advertising campaign in Chillicothe to solicit donations from the community for the new machine. The goal is to generate excitement and create a sense of shared social conscience by helping Hope Dental Clinic better serve its patients, while forming a lasting connection between St. Paul’s and the clinic. But most importantly, we want the people of Chillicothe to immediately think of St. Paul’s Episcopal Church when they cite examples of the modern-day church having a tangible and positive impact on real people in their community.

If you would like to personally share in the effort to purchase the panoramic x-ray machine for Hope Dental Clinic, your contribution would be greatly appreciated. Donations will be accepted at the Hope Dental Clinic booth in the exhibit area at convention, or you may visit St. Paul’s new website, www.WhereAllAreWelcome.org to give.