Category Archives: Program Funding

Surprises for OM

Watching Over US at OM - photo courtesy Mike Elliot (used by permission)

Watching Over Us at OM – photo courtesy Mike Elliot (used by permission)

Back in May of this year, three college students from the University of Oregon’s Journalism School constructed a video about Occupy Medical in the Kickstarter format to meet the needs of their assignment. In June, they released the video onto the internet and gave us permission to do whatever we wanted with it.

Our aim was to post it on Kickstarter as a campaign to raise funds for lab fees for patients that cannot afford to pay for their own. We only asked for $2500 because we we told that another lab in town would be willing to match those funds.

We never got around to finishing this project. The volunteers at OM had too much on their plates trying to mange the patient load that has increased 5 times in the last 6 months. We were working just to keep our heads above water.

Then came the surprise.

Upworthy stumbled on our video and posted it. We did not know about this until another supporter in our area notified us of this new development. We were startled but pleased. How nice that the message that we work so hard to actualize be shared with a larger group of people. Since we are a small troop of  volunteers who are used to struggling for every donation dime, we visualized a few checks coming in for ten, maybe twenty dollars.

Then came another surprise.

We received a phone call from our ally, CALC, that a local artist named Dianne Story Cunningham had contacted them about donating to help with our lab fees. We were thrilled.

Then came the next big surprise.

Another local supporter and long time Occupy activist, Mary Broadhurst, found me at our Sunday clinic. It had been a long day. We had to open the clinic late because of mechanical problems with the bus. The day was stiflingly hot. We were short on volunteers and long on patients. I had just given out the last of our vitamin C. It was the kind of day that makes you bone-weary.

Mary walked up to me with a big grin on her face. She asked if I had heard about an upcoming donation. I nodded and smiled. She asked if I had heard about the amount yet. I shook my head. Mary steadied me for the next surprise. This donor  was covering the entire amount that we needed: $2500. I blinked. Mary said it again more slowly so my foggy brain could take in the news.

This was when the tears started. Just like like that, one of the problems that we had been struggling with was solved. I thought of all the faces of the patients that desperately needed lab tests so that they could get more complicated care. I thought of our volunteer doctors whose hands were tied because they could not proceed any farther in treatment until we could scrape together enough to pay for lab results. I thought of other volunteers scrambling behind the scenes to find a way to help these people in whatever way they could.

The problem was solved. One person stepped forward and through the efforts of college students with video cameras, community allies that understand how work together as a team, volunteers giving selflessly every Sunday, and few people with the energy to make a positive change in the lives of complete strangers, this problem was solved. It was overwhelming to me.

I have seen this generosity before at Occupy Medical. Our little clinic seems to bring out the best in people. It never fails to amaze me though. It never fails to make me smile. I can’t say thank you enough. I know that there are people out there who have helped our people anonymously that I can’t thank personally.

People have said that one person can’t make a difference. I know that that is not true. One person makes a difference every day. The great thing is that it is never just one person. We all make a difference – together.

Thank you. Thank you one and all.

OM on Upworthy

OM Video Hits the Big Time

OM Video Hits the Big Time

OM on Upworthy

A group of U of O journalism students picked our clinic to do a kick starter model video for. A writer for Upworthy stumbled onto it and was impressed enough to post it. Look for a kick starter campaign to raise money for lab fees in the future.
Good citizens that want to donate to our cause may send us checks via snail mail. I am still chipping away at the paperwork to make us an official 501c3. You may send the check (made out to “Occupy Medical”) to our address: 3575 Donald Street, Suite 230,Eugene, Oregon 97405.
Remember that we can only offer services that we have the volunteers and/or donations to share. We are ALL volunteers. If you want an Occupy Medical clinic in your city, let us know and we will help you replicate this service. Join us. It’s a lot of work but it’s fun.

Tax Day Donation

Sue Accepts the Much Needed Donation  from Taxes for Peace not War

Sue Accepts the Much Needed Donation from Taxes for Peace not War

April 15th is the day that War Tax Resisters throughout America have chosen to publicly display their frustration with government supported aggression. The National War Tax Resistance Coordinating Committee explains the motivation for movement best.

“In the U.S. war tax resisters choose to refuse some or all of their federal income tax and/or other taxes, like the federal excise tax on local telephone service. Income taxes and excise taxes are destined for the government’s general fund and about half of that money helps to pay for the military budget including all types of weapons of war and weapons of mass destruction.

People take many roads to war tax resistance:

some are protesting a particular war;
some find it against their religious convictions to knowingly support war;
some are horrified by massive U.S. military spending while human needs go unmet;
some are or would be conscientious objectors if called to military service and, therefore, feel they cannot in good conscience pay for something they would refuse to do themselves.

Most war tax resisters are motivated by a combination of reasons like these, and actively work for peace in many other ways too.”

While Occupy Medical is not a war tax resistance group, most of our volunteers do agree that government would wise to reconsider use of the hard earned tax money they do receive. We were happy to receive support from members of Taxes for Peace not War.
The event was cosponsored by Taxes for Peace Not War, Lane County Women’s Action for New Directions and Community Alliance of Lane County who staged the event in from the post office as an expression of their outrage at the government’s policy to fund the international war effort. Members of Occupy Medical showed up to accept the donation and cheer other activist groups on. We are proud of the work our allies do every day to make this world a better place.

A Call for Help

Herbal Medicine for the People

Herbal Medicine for the People

Eugene’s OCCUPY MEDICAL clinic continues to grow and expand. Last quarter we had an average of 25 patients and already our numbers have risen to 30-40 per clinic. We expect the trend to continue. One of our primary jobs is serving the medical needs of our community. We operate on a shoestring budget that is based 100% on community donations. Many of our donations come from total strangers who understand the need and want to be a viable part of the solution. A significant amount of our volunteers and donors are previous patients or friends and family of patients. Many now wish to complete the circle of reciprocity with the generous gift of their time and/or resources.
A unique feature of OCCUPY MEDICAL is that we are not just an emergency care clinic. We provide preventative and managed care with 48% of our patients returning for further assistance. All of our treatments are completely free, which provides an opportunity for our patients to make personal healthcare choices that are best for them, not just what they can afford at the time.
The nutritional and herbal department has increased in popularity as our patients learn the qualities of herbal medicine. Even patients who previously did not have the slightest interest in plant medicine are now requesting this care. The herbal remedies that we provide are high to medium dose botanicals. We offer several different forms (tinctures, vinegar based, and capsules) for internal consumption, in addition to our topical salves and infused oils. It is not uncommon for us to give away between 8 and 10 oz of tincture, 400 herbal capsules, multiple doses of essential oils, a wide array of nutritional supplements and several bottles of homeopathic medicine per clinic. We move through inventory quickly and need your help in sustaining this facet of OCCUPY MEDICAL, especially with our services expanding to Fridays in addition to our regular Sunday clinic. Our need will double in a few short weeks.
If you are an herbalist and are willing to donate your tinctures, we would be more than appreciative to share them with the community. If you are fortunate enough to have a garden with culinary and/or medicinal herbs that we may harvest to craft medicine from, please let us know. We need your help so that we may continue to offer alternative modalities of health and healing. We wish to make plant medicine accessible to those that we have the privilege of serving.
OCCUPY MEDICAL is changing the future of “traditional” medicine to welcome various alternatives in care. It is not an easy journey and we cannot achieve our goal alone. Please help us in any way you can. Our website lists the herbs that are in high demand, as well as the nutritional supplements that we regularly use. Please feel free to stop by one of our clinics and speak with Sue or “T”.

In solidarity,
T and Sue

Donations to OM

Emerald FEAST award 1/31/13

Emerald FEAST award 1/31/13

Thursday was a red letter day for Occupy Medical. We received support for 2 of our treatment programs – prescription and herbal medicine are now funded. The uncanny part of this announcement is that the details matched so closely.
I asked Mt. Rose Herbs if they would care to offer another $200 of in-kind donations to our herbal treatment program. We use herbs such as milk thistle, dandelion, echinacea and osha with a great deal of regularity for our patients. Some patients are more comfortable with herbs as treatment instead of prescription medication. Since both programs work wonders for treating illness, we seek out donations that we can offer patients for free to use in conjunction with the doctor’s diagnosis.
Mt. Rose Herbs is well known in our town for actively supporting community health projects such as ours. They stepped bravely to the plate last year to help us out in our time of need. I asked for another donation of capsules, salves and essential oils for 2013 and waited for a reply.
I had assumed that our request was rejected when I got a call from the Mt. Rose office. They had good news. They met and decided that since we are an ongoing project with strong community support, we would be granted $500 instead of the $200 that I originally asked for. I was stunned. The faces of the patients that so desperately need these herbs swam before my eyes. I couldn’t say thank you enough.
Later that night, OM fielded another surprise. A volunteer, Arwen, and I presented a presentation to compete for an award of $500 from Emerald F.E.A.S.T. that we hoped to use to sponsor our prescription medicine program. Currently, we can get the first $50 of a prescription covered for patients without insurance through neighborhood voucher programs. The rest comes out of our donation jar or, more commonly, the pockets of kind-hearted volunteers.
Arwen and I heard the programs that the other presenters were running. It didn’t seem like we had a chance to win but we loved the idea of sharing OM with a captive audience. Healthcare for all needs buy in from Oregonians. This was a chance to pitch our cause.
When our name was called out as the winner of the award. Arwen and I just stood there. We blinked. We turned to each other hoping the other person would know what to do. I don’t even remember what I said when I thanked the crowd. Hopefully, it came out in complete sentences.
We have struggled as Occupy Medical for so long on so little for a community that needs so much. The idea that we will have the supplies that we need to help our patients is still a difficult one to fathom.It is an idea that we can get used to.
Thanks again to all those from Mt. Rose Herbs and Emerald FEAST that made this possible for our little clinic to make our city a healthier place. Thank you also to CALC for walking us through the system of donation management.