Category Archives: Community Support

Donations to OM Are Easier

Thank You for Your Support

Thank You for Your Support

We have Paypal now! Occupy Medical has, with the help of Wendy Moore (and her tech sauvie son), a lovely Paypal button that allows people to donate to our cause. All money donated goes directly to patient care for Occupy Medical patients and to promote improving the ailing healthcare system in Oregon.
We are not yet a 501c3 organization. If you have a sizable donation that you would like to get a tax write off for, contact CALC and they will help us get the donation while you get a little relief from the IRS.
Any size of donation truly helps us. Please help us continue our mission of bringing the care back to healthcare.

New, Temporary Location for OM

EEH2013Poster-lgThis Sunday, July 21, 2013, Occupy Medical will be setting up shop in a new place. Since there is a conflicting event downtown, the good people who run the Emerald Empire Hempfest offered to share their permit with us so we could still host our weekly free clinic.

You may find our bus parked this Sunday at the end of the Fir Lane parking lot, just off of River Rd. at Maurie Jacobs Park. Volunteers are advised to show up early to help us secure a spot.

OM and EEHF have different mission statements but we both agree that caring for our community is vital. OM can not prescribe medical marijuana or sign medical marijuana cards.

Remember that this festival is free to the public and is family friendly(drug and alcohol free). Come out and enjoy all 3 days of food, crafts. education and entertainment. Please be sure to thank the fine folks at EEHF for sharing their space with us.

Look for OM in our usual spot at the Eugene downtown Park Blocks at 8th and Oak next Sunday between 12-4pm.

Herb Bus

Herbalista Free ClinicI just received the good news from Mason at Mountain Rose Herbs that there is another mobile free clinic in Atlanta Georgia called the Herbalista Free Clinic.  The organizer is a talented herbalist named Lorna Mauney-Brodek who also runs her own herbal consulting practice.

They run a mobile clinic nicknamed the Herb Bus which is focused on herbal medicine and also hosts a weekly foot care clinic. They are pioneering natural medicine outreach by scheduling monthly visits to a variety of locations throughout the city.

The Herbalista Free Clinic hosts regular classes on health. They post information regularly on their blog, facebook page and website. It is easy to keep updated. They are also firm believers in spreading the good word about organized alternative medicine. Herb Bus has procedures and manuals available on line. These people are VERY impressive.

We welcome our brothers and sisters in healing to the mobile clinic community. We appreciate the inspiration.

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.

It’s the Little Things …

Help for Those That Need It the Most

Help for Those That Need It the Most

At Occupy Medical, we are spoiled by community support. There is a sizable collection of wonderful people that regularly pop by the clinic with donations of vitamins, aspirin, toothpaste or other small ticket items that our clinic can not operate without. They note our plea for donations on Facebook or on our website and tap their own resources to provide it.

We run a tight ship. Every donation goes to directly to a patient. We are careful to monitor the needs that our people can supply  to maintain basic health supplies for preventative and manged care.

We are grateful for all of the donations that walk in the door but like I said, we are a bit spoiled. We are starting to get used to the idea that we can help our patients with local resources simply by asking for it. Once and a while, something stops us in our tracks that gives us perspective on the depth of the generosity that surrounds us.

Last week, I put out another plea on Facebook for a few small ticket items. One of our steadfast donors, Kitte Lishuss, stepped up to the plate again with a box of newly purchased supplies. I sent her a thank you via Facebook because our conversation was cut short when she dropped them off on Sunday.

Here is our subsequent conversation:

Sue: Your donation came at just the right time (again). Thank you so much for stepping in to help our clinic. We were down to the wire on several of these items. It felt good to be able to offer help where help was needed without stressing about the source. 

Kitte: Yay! I am glad to hear it! I just got a Costco card this week specifically to buy stuff to donate to Occupy Medical.

(At this point in the conversation, I paused. This woman really went out of her way to help our people. She, like many of our regular donors, has limited resources. This is a person who is dedicated to helping others in whatever way she can. I got a lump in my throat. The conversation continued.)

Sue: Wow. You just made me cry.

Kitte: Aaaw. We’re all in this together, sister!

Well said, Kitte, well said.

Do want to support our cause? You may send the check (made out to “Occupy Medical”) to our address: 3575 Donald Street, Suite 230, Eugene, Oregon 97405.


Steel Wool

Steel Wool

Occupy Medical is hoping your love of local music will help fill their coffers. At 6:00 on Sunday June 23 at Cozmic  (199 W. 8th in Eugene, OR), enjoy a slice of handmade organic pizza and a cold microbrew while taking in the local musical talent of STEEL WOOL and Satori Bob! Proceeds allow OCCUPY MEDICAL to continue their work in providing free and inclusive health care for all.
A team of volunteers donate their time, skills and care to making sure anyone and everyone in Eugene has access to health care. From a patient’s perspective, it’s what single-payer health care looks like, and it’s free.
On Sundays from noon until 4 pm you can walk up to the former bloodmobile painted red and white and emblazoned “Occupy Medical Mobile Clinic,” that’s parked downtown at the Park Blocks and get anything from a Band-Aid to a prescription for heart medicine. You can also get food, a haircut and proof that someone cares.
Everything at the clinic is at no cost to the patients and everything is donated, from the work of a herbalist and two other medical doctors, to bandages and prescriptions.
This event is your chance to directly help people in need right here in Eugene while you’re having a great time.

Tim Mueller of Steel Wool, featured at the benefit, says, “I wrote a song called “Occupy” when this movement started. We all look forward to playing it for this group. It’s all adrenaline!” Tim is songwriter, lead vocalist and acoustic/electric guitar player for Steel Wool; long time area musician TR Kelley is on bass and vocals, Nel Applegate does mbira, percussion and vocals, and Randy Hamme is the drummer. This Eugene, Oregon band features three part harmonies, inventive bass lines, exceptional rhythm guitar, great drumming and percussion accents, sweet love songs, call-to-action songs, rockin’ songs and ‘hey let’s dance now songs’. They describe their music as “harmony driven – all original, funky world beat folk rock, upbeat and happily serious.” Their first CD, “All the Love in the World”, was released this spring.

Satori Bob

Satori Bob

Satori Bob has evolved over many years, centered on the work and vision of singer/guitarist/composer John Baumann. John’s songwriting, musicianship and presence has earned him loyal fans across the US. The interplay between longtime accompanist Devin Newman on banjo, noted bassist Jeff Langston, and the highly creative Russ Wilbanks on guitars, round out this fast-rising Eugene, Oregon based acoustic/electric ensemble.
The band conveys a vibrant energy in diverse settings, bringing audiences into the performance with compelling lyrics, uncanny improvisational interplay and strong arrangements. Their appeal has the ability to cross many boundaries with songs ranging from gentle acoustic pieces to hard-to-ignore social commentary.

Yachats, OR

Yachats, OR

Be sure to take advantage of our raffle while you are there. We have a hand stitched quilt and a free night at the Sea Rose guest house in Yachats available to those who want to buy a raffle ticket. If you lucky, you could win both prizes. Imagine snuggling under a soft, cotton quilt in front of the fire with a glass of wine in your hand as you watch the sunset over the sea from a cozy deck chair at the Sea Rose. Sounds like splendor!

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.

More Donations from an Old Friend

A Little Goes a Long Way

A Little Goes a Long Way

The Merry Hempsters is a local company owned and operated by a long-standing Occupy supporter. Even when Occupy Medical was just a few lawn chairs under a tarp, Gerry, the owner, saw to it that we had donations to keep us going.
Gerry has stepped up to the plate many times since then. He has brought us lip balms, lotions, containers and a hefty supply of raw materials to work with. His generosity is inspiring.
It is clear that he understands that Occupy Medical is more than a first aid tent. We are the pioneers in the healthcare revolution. Gerry has seen enough suffering and he wants to make a change.
Recently, Gerry stepped in with more donations from Merry Hempster: raw herbs and boxes and boxes of salves and lotions. Once again, my herb team stood in awe as we stared at the donations.
As volunteers, we get used to the idea of living on a shoestring. If we have the donation, we will give it, for free, to the patient. If we don’t have it, we scrounge around our supplies and make do or scratch our heads for places that our patients can get adequate substitutions.
This time we don’t have to scrounge or make do. We can just hand the patient with psoriasis the lotion he needs. We can just hand the woman with cracked lips that balm that she needs. We can reach into a box and pull out what we want, when we want it. We are getting spoiled.
Thank you, Merry Hempsters, for helping our people. Thank you, Gerry, for understanding that you are part of solution.

Remembering to Be Human – Guest Blog

acupunctureOn May 12 2013, we had a special Mother’s Day guest. One of our nurses, Barbara, asked if her daughter, a licensed acupuncturist, could offer her services at the clinic for the day. Knowing how many patients are crippled by pain that a professional with this skill set could alleviate, we said YES! The post below is a description of her experience at Occupy Medical. For more on Erin or to read more of her insightful blog posts, go to Radiant Heart Acupuncture.

Remembering How To Be Human*
by Erin Telford, L.Ac

I had a glorious, profound experience this past weekend. I flew to Oregon to surprise my amazing mama for Mother’s Day. Since my visit was unexpected, she was already on schedule to volunteer at Occupy Medical in the center of downtown Eugene. We decided that I would come with her and volunteer my acupuncture services.

This is a fantastic setup to provide free medical care and a myriad of services to the under-served population in Eugene. They have doctors, nurses, fresh food, an herbalist, and even a person to cut your hair! It was a gorgeous warm day and I had a nice little line-up of people to treat.

I have never worked with under-served populations. Under-served by my definition are people who don’t get enough. They don’t get enough food, they don’t get enough medical treatment, they don’t get enough comfort, warmth, nurturing, empathy or love.

My second patient of the day was a prostitute who was afraid to be homeless on the street because of her background. She told me a lot of stories, most of which left me slightly stunned and sad. I usually feel like I have some things to say when I’m working with patients. Some pretty reasonable, helpful, relatable things to say.

I like to have a golden nugget here and there that someone can take away and feel uplifted by. It might be ego-y but I feel good making other people feel good. So when this fellow human says to me, I sell myself for money when I’m depressed, I’m stumped.

I felt kind of like a jerk. I don’t have a pretty bow to put on this one. I can’t say, “Yeah, we’ve all been there” and have a laugh because we haven’t. I had nothing. Nothing. I started and stopped. Silence. Awkward? A teeny bit. But then we just looked at each other.

Okay, I thought. Let’s just be here. Because THIS is what is happening right now. This is her reality. I didn’t need to make it better or make it different. My reality and her reality were crossing over and we were just being humans together. So we just sat for a minute or two looking into each other’s eyes. I’m saying I hear you, I understand you, that sucks and I love you in my mind. I hope she felt that. I think she did.

I treated a young woman who was kicking a speed addiction and was grieving losing her children on Mother’s Day. I treated a woman with a painful bunion who was craving more connection with her family of origin. I treated a very sweet man who wanted to propose to me with a ring made of a pine cone and string. All were in heavy transition with very loose foundations, all were very anxious, all really, really needed to tell their stories.

The Dalai Lama had just been in Eugene the day before and everyone was quoting him. It was a bit surreal. The major theme of his talk seemed to be around compassion, nurturing and the responsibility and power of the feminine. We were putting these teachings into direct action on this day.

My mother is a registered nurse so she was camped out on the bus checking vital signs and taking care of wounds. I’m in my own little section of an outdoor tent with just a few battered folding chairs and a metal table that we pulled off her deck and covered with a pretty cloth to use for a workspace. There was no glamor. No flannel sheets, no table warmer, no aromatherapy, no music.

It was still perfect and functional. When you strip away all the bells and whistles, there is just the work. You just give everything you have to give. Nothing else is necessary.

Mother Theresa said that the problem of the world was that we have forgotten that we belong to each other. We are humans. We are all doing this together. It makes no difference if I live in a 2 million dollar apartment on Park Avenue or I sleep on cement steps with my dog to protect me.

We will all take hits in this life. You will never know by looking at someone what kind of trauma they have had to endure. It does not matter. We all deserve to give and receive each other’s kindness and utter humanity.

It’s easy to see other humans as annoying, frustrating obstacles. They are in your way. They aren’t giving you what you want. They are frustrating, shady, slow, entitled, etc.

It’s a choice to remember that we are all made of the same stuff. We all need warmth and touch and sweetness. Be in it together-even with “strangers.”

Connect and serve.

*Used by permission by the author

The Friends List

Occupy Medical

Occupy Medical

Every week Occupy Medical gives away donations of medicine, medical supplies, supplements and hygiene supplies to those in need. Our policy on healthcare is strict: Healthcare is for all. Our ability to heal should not depend on what lines your wallet.
This means that some of our volunteers are busy chasing donations to support the Sunday clinic throughout the rest of the week. The supplies that we need come from a variety of sources. Personal donations are most common. One woman drove up and opened her trunk revealing boxes of brand new wound treatment supplies. Her mother had passed a few weeks earlier. Her family did not need the medical equipment and she knew her mother would approve of sharing these with the clinic.
Other donations come from groups dedicated to charity. Interfaith Occupy and churches such as First United Methodist and Episcopal Church of the Resurrection have helped our people on a regular basis. They bring food, supplies and support that truly comes the heart.
Our allies support us in ways that make our lives much easier. Cahoots popped by unexpectedly with big boxes of wound care. White Bird Clinic has offer numerous supplies through the past year and 1/2. They generously got us started with basic supplies back in the early days of Occupy. Our local hospitals have donated medical equipment that has tremendously expanded the level of care we can offer our patients.
Now businesses are starting to step up as well. Mountain Rose has always been a generous supporter of our clinic but other small, local businesses are sharing with OM this year. One of the owners of Sol Botanicals taught a free workshop via our community education series. McKenzie Mist supplies us with spring water.
As of today, a new business has joined the pursuit of universal healthcare by sharing a grocery bag of vitamins and herbal supplements. To them, it was helpful to lighten the shelves to make room for new product. To us, it meant saving our people from malnutrition. Thank you, Evergreen Nutrition. Welcome to Occupy Medical.