Service to others

timestamp icon
category icon Editorials

With the recent national commemoration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day, fresh on the minds of many is how each of us can help others. As stated by Dr. King: “Anyone can be great – because anyone can serve.”

In our local community, there are many who are taking those words to heart as they use their own talents to give back to the community.

In today’s difficult economy, many people are jobless and therefore without medical insurance to take care of even the most basic health care needs. Much recent good work in the community has focused on filling this void in particular.

On Saturday, local professionals provided free medical and massage services at Bethel Community Church in Washougal as part of “Compassion C/W.” The organization provides these services on a regular basis for individuals who do not have access to health care.

Led by nurse practitioner Sarah Russell, the clinic volunteers saw 16 individuals who received care for respiratory illnesses and blood pressure issues, as well as diabetes and routine medications. Free dental services, such as extractions, fillings and checkups, will be provided next week.

And there are more examples of similar efforts taking place in the coming weeks.

“Project Homeless Connect” will be held Thursday in Vancouver. Complimentary services will include eye exams, dental care and hair cuts. There will also be free counseling, employment and education assistance, veterans services and assistance with benefits.

On Feb. 4 is Children’s Dental Health Day. The clinic, with services donated by Clark County, Clark County Dental Society and others, will be held at the Clark College Dental Hygiene Clinic. Children ages 2 to 19 who have no dental insurance can receive X-rays, sealants, fluoride treatment, fillings and extractions.

The people involved in providing these free services do so not to be great, but to help their neighbors and fellow citizens. There is no greater illustration of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s words than this.