Today, I volunteered at the Seattle/King County Clinic at KeyArena. Over four days, the clinic “offered a full range of free dental, vision, and medical care to the underserved and vulnerable populations in the region. The effort involving months of preparation and thousands of volunteers transformed KeyArena into the largest clinic of its kind in Washington State. AS many as 4,000 patients were served by over 1600 professional health care and general support volunteers, providing more than $2.5 billion in healthcare services.”
Doctors could instantly refer patients to get blood work, ultrasound, or acupuncture if necessary, and have the return to them that day – a process that would often take days, if not, weeks otherwise.
Most have been there since 5am to get it; many stayed overnight and have been there since the night before. Regardless of their fatigue and dehydration, they were so grateful for the services – and to be listened to, to be touched; you could see it in their eyes, and hear it in their voices.
To me, it was also a reminder of how potent community is. Literally, thousands of volunteers came together to make this event happen, for a common cause. There was so much positive energy in the Arena. Everyone was smiling, having fun, and wanted to be there! I was excited to reconnect with some colleagues and teachers from acupuncture school; I bumped into a friend that recently graduated from dental school; the medical director of my floor was the mom of one of my good friends from grade school!
After 12 hours, I was still buzzing throughout my drive back home…until 8pm came around, and then I crashed and slept very well!