“We need your help!” exclaimed Matt Mobley to the camera, but he and others were head-down and focused on their work as they assembled and packed 1,000 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches Thursday.
The plea was to Church Street UMC’s followers on social media for volunteers with vans, trucks, or SUVs to help transport 1,000 bagged lunches on Friday, January 12 for the weekend’s Remote Area Medical (RAM) pop up clinic at the Jacob Building in Knoxville. Seven trucks and vans showed up with less than 24 hours notice to transport the lunches to the RAM clinic site.
The church purchased and volunteers prepared hand-held meals for the anticipated crowd of more than 900 patients RAM expects to see this weekend. RAM reports that many patients will wait in the parking lot overnight to access the free healthcare service. RAM operates the pop-up clinics to deliver free medical, dental, and vision services to the underserved, uninsured and underinsured individuals who cannot afford or access a doctor. No qualifying questions or proof of income or identification are asked of patients who access the clinics. Headquartered in Rockford, TN, RAM’s more than 196,000 volunteers—licensed dental, vision, and medical providers, as well as general support volunteers—have treated more than 910,000 individuals, delivering more than $189.5 million worth of free services since the nonprofit’s founding in 1985.
“Working with RAM gave us the opportunity to live out our calling as Methodists; specifically, that the mission of the church is missions,” shares Matt Mobley. “Whether that means supporting our overseas ministers in their spreading the message of Christ’s love, working in our own local soup kitchen, or something as simple as making and bagging sack lunches for a wonderful program like RAM, no mission is too large or too small to demonstrate the example of Christ’s love to a world desperately in need of care and compassion.”
About 10 volunteers spent Thursday in an assembly line in the church’s Parish Hall organizing the 1000 bags to be delivered to RAM’s patients. Church Street is intentional about being in community with others through long-standing local, national and international mission efforts, and has used the prayer from Psalm 90 as its guide over the last year:
Let your acts be seen by your servants;
let your glory be seen by their children.
Let the kindness of the Lord our God be over us.
Make the work of our hands last. (Psalm 90:16-17)
For more information about Remote Area Medical, visit https://www.ramusa.org. For more information about Church Street’s missions or to learn more about our efforts in the community, please visit https://churchstreetumc.org/resources.