Written by Holly Blackman
Our bodies are not whole – it’s nothing we like to face head on. In fact, we run in all directions, frantically trying to keep ourselves as whole as possible, and for some of us, it’s easier to do that because of money. We choose healthcare providers and remedies, try special equipment or prescriptions, schedule routine check ups – problem-solving. But for others there’s not a chance at renting or purchasing a machine to improve mobility or sleep apnea and dentist appointments are impossible when you’re thinking about how to pay rent and buy food. Healthcare costs become secondary when simply living is financially crushing.
However, many local nonprofits are stepping in to help bridge the gap; to help families and individuals meet their healthcare needs so they can feel well and whole in order to provide for themselves and their families. These organizations help people get back on their feet, sometimes quite literally.
How can we help? Below is a sample of our nonprofit partners improving access to healthcare equipment or dental services:
Speech and hearing tests are standard procedures for pediatric offices and elementary schools. Early detection gives a child hope but what if a family can’t afford speech therapy or hearing aids they’re told their child needs? This is where Charlotte Speech and Hearing Center helps by providing superior speech-language and hearing devices to individuals based on their personal budget. They create individualized hearing solutions using their outstanding patient care, and they run speech and hearing community programs for the underserved.
Moving is key to success, but if your mobility is hindered and you don’t have the funds to rent, much less, buy equipment, you’re stuck. Enter Assist ME – they take in gently used medical and mobility equipment and gift it to low income, uninsured patients. With the right equipment, patients are 90% less likely to fall or be re-admitted. They serve 4 to 5 patients per week!
After leaving the NICU, families are flooded and flogged with medical bills, yet care needs continue. Some families cannot fathom additional expenses, so Bee Mighty’s goal is to provide funding for medical therapy and equipment to Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) graduates. They seek to allow parents to focus on each other and their child without worrying about financial problems resulting from uninsured equipment and therapy.
Prescriptions are vital for some to maintain any quality of life and OTC drugs are helpful for little ones to manage symptoms, but sometimes there’s no money for either. But NC MedAssist is a nonprofit pharmacy program that provides access to lifesaving prescription medications, patient support, advocacy and related services to the poor, vulnerable, and uninsured North Carolina residents, so they have an option to take care of lifesaving matters. They provide a Free Pharmacy Program to NC residents who are low-income and uninsured, an Over The Counter Medicine Program that provides low-income adults and children with free OTC medicines, and a Senior Care Program that gives America’s Toothfairy
Dentists appointments are scheduled far in advance but some aren’t ever scheduled because oral hygiene is a luxury for some – toothpaste a want, not a need. Well, America’s ToothFairy, the National Children’s Oral Health Foundation (NCOHF) was founded to increase access to oral health care by supporting non-profit clinics and community partners delivering education, prevention, and treatment services for underserved children, so that oral health is prioritized. Pediatric dental disease is one of the leading chronic childhood diseases in the US, and America’s ToothFairy is fighting to make sure underserved youth receive dental care.
If you’d like to help any of these organizations, explore the links above to see options for donating, volunteering, or even shopping for any of the above nonprofits. Your help make sure the uninsured and underinsured have the access they need to join us in trying to keep/make ourselves whole.