Building a Healthy Community, One Person at a Time

At Reconciliation Services I often witness great philanthropy, or loving of mankind, being offered up by those in our community--a mother giving up her food so her children have enough; a father working a third job to save for a deposit on a safer apartment; a homeless man giving away his gloves to warm another’s cold hands; a volunteer dashing onto a city bus outside our building to give away hot take-home meals to the hungry. These seemingly small acts, these sacrifices, remind me of our great mission to reconcile the distance between us.

Last week, an elderly woman came in desperately in need of new eyeglasses and suffering terrible pain in her teeth. She lives on her modest social security income but recently began caring for her three grandchildren as well, which made it very difficult to tend to her own health needs. The children’s needs came first. By providing her with new eyeglasses and the emergency dental work she needed, we enabled her to both care for herself and her grandchildren better.

Thanks to our partnership with KC Medicine Cabinet and by leveraging your generous support through our on-site counseling and case management, RS was able to provide $35,776 in vouchers for dental services, medical equipment, prescriptions, vision care, eyeglasses and more in January 2017. That is our highest amount of monthly Medicine Cabinet assistance offered to date!

Often people are faced with the tough decision to buy groceries or medicine, to pay their rent or seek care for painful dental issues. Medicine Cabinet funds distributed by RS caseworkers help cover additional medical supplies or optical and dental services that remain out of reach for many families living below the poverty line in our city--things like dentures, crutches, shower chairs, hearing aids, nebulizers, eyeglasses, compression socks, emergency dental work, prescriptions, dentures, or other necessary procedures or supplies.  

“We cherish our relationship with Reconciliation Services,” said Jodi Wilson, Program Director of KC Medicine Cabinet. “Every day they work closely with clients to ensure each of them receive the necessary Emergency Medical assistance.”  

Here’s how we leveraged KC Medicine Cabinet vouchers in January 2017:

  • Provided eyeglasses for 52 individuals, including 25 children
  • Gave more than $7,000 to provide hearing aids
  • Secured emergency dental care and more advanced dental services, like dentures and partials, for 34 individuals
  • Gave vouchers for over $1,200 in medical supplies
  • Offered much needed prescription vouchers to 35 individuals

Every day, hour by hour, moment by moment, at RS we see how acts of love and service lead to health and stability spreading throughout our community, reconciling the distance between us and revealing the strengths of those we serve. That grandma that got new eyeglasses and emergency dental care can now focus more fully on caring for her grandchildren, pouring her time and energy into loving them well. This is the kind of philanthropy that strengthens communities.

By Fr. Justin Mathews, Executive Director