This year’s Compassion Tigard volunteer training gathered quite a crowd of excited volunteers itching to serve early the next morning. Several Compassion Connect staff attended to offer support, including our new Development Director, Mark. During the event Mark’s path crossed with Deanna, a former Compassion Clinic guest who he immediately realized had a special story.
In the course of their conversation he learned it was a “God thing” that she had heard about the Clinic only that week and felt led to volunteer. No stranger to personal health issues herself, Deanna has not only given back by volunteering at more than one Compassion Clinic at but also by pursuing a college degree in the medical field.
What led you to come to your first Compassion Clinic as a guest? How did you hear about the Clinic?
I saw the clinic info on the Tigard High School sign. Being a student without dental insurance, I needed my teeth cleaned.
What was your experience like at the Clinic?
The wait was long but there were great people in line with me and the hospitality people came through with juice and snacks while we waited in the cold. I know they prayed with people in line and interacted with many of us. Back then we were taken over to the Pacific campus in Hillsboro (I had never been that far out!) and I had a great discussion with an older gentleman on the shuttle bus. He wasn’t a student but was in a similar situation. The hygienist was awesome and it felt great to have my teeth cared for that way.
What was it that made you want to then turn around and volunteer at a Compassion Clinic?
I have been a volunteer throughout my adult life and have worked in various capacities in healthcare. I also always try to keep in mind that everyone experiences difficult times in this life, and to extend the kindness and compassion that I have experienced when I have difficult times.
What do you enjoy about volunteering at Clinics?
I have now volunteered at the Tigard and SW clinics. Our church is working on potentially having one and I am working with them in planning and execution of that. I love hearing the stories of the guests and seeing their smiles. This last clinic, I helped a guest who had numerous needs and was also deaf. It took three of us to be his “entourage” to make sure all his needs were met. He gave me two hugs! Best feeling in the world!
Has the experience of being a guest and a volunteer at Clinics impacted you?
My passion has always been toward marginalized people, especially in regards to health needs and missions. Compassion Connect allows me to combine all those areas right here with our community members. Jesus let the people come to him and served them with strong compassion. My service is (I pray) an extension of that. My daughter also volunteers at the clinics and we will continue to do it together whenever we can.
We thank Deanna for her spirit of selfless service!
If you would like to help ensure we can continue to provide the most excellent and compassionate care for guests of Compassion Clinics like Deanna and many others, we encourage you to check out our Spring Campaign, #Activate, currently running now until June 30th.