Meals for Mercy

This week’s edition of Beyond the Cupola features guest writers, Sara Dunn & Haley Reed. Sara and Haley discuss our new OSB program, Retail Gives, and the tremendous impact it has already had on the lives of those within our community.

Being essential to the communities we serve, marking lives through remarkable experiences, and serving others with excellence are at the core of Oconee State Bank’s Vision, Mission, and Values.  Every day each of us is empowered to fulfill these obligations in our unique roles.  “The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others.” –Mahatma Gandhi

Earlier this year Oconee State Bank launched a new program, Retail Gives, which provides opportunities for our Retail team members to serve our community and mark the lives of so many- including our own.  We are always seeking out worthy organizations that share in our mission to create experiences that deeply impact others, and Mercy Health Center’s Meals for Mercy program is a perfect fit.  Mercy Health Center exists to provide healthcare to our community’s under-served through a network of medical and administrative volunteers.  Mercy has been providing free Medical, Dental, Pharmacy and Health Education to the low-income and uninsured population of Clarke, Barrow, Jackson, Madison, Oglethorpe and Oconee counties for more than 17 years. They are able to carry out their mission with the help of more than 700 volunteers and generous donations.  Their volunteers selflessly give their time and talents to help a population of our community that many of us may never come into contact with.  On nights with extended clinic hours, many volunteers come straight from school or work to serve Mercy’s patients.  Meals for Mercy invites organizations to provide dinner to over 30 volunteers during this time, because happy volunteers- who are not hungry- make happy patients!

Our own Retail Gives volunteers have eagerly stepped up to the plate to bring delicious, home cooked meals to Mercy throughout the year.  During a recent visit to Mercy- between bites of spaghetti and salad- we sat down with a few of Mercy’s student volunteers and interns to learn more about why they chose Mercy Health Center.  Jordan Stout, a Junior at the University of Georgia and member of the UGA Swim Team, has loved learning more about the Athens community.  She is majoring in Cellular Biology, and serves as an intern at Mercy.  While much of her time is spent on campus, devoted to her studies

and her sport, Mercy is another highlight of her collegiate career.  Ashley Makala, a UGA Senior from Augusta, has always had a passion for non-profits and serving others.  At Mercy, she is able to apply the medical concepts and principals she learned in the classroom to real life patients.  As she prepares to graduate in a couple weeks, it is clear that her internship with Mercy has laid a solid framework to continue studies in dental school and work with non-profits.  Another volunteer, Ashley Juliao, learned about Mercy through classmates while majoring in Environmental Sciences at UGA.  Her experiences as a volunteer at Mercy have “popped the college bubble,” as she expanded her network to a population of our community she would otherwise not come into contact with.

Oconee State Bank and Mercy Health Center’s passion for serving others shines in everything we do.  Whether it’s a customer or a patient, we share in the philosophy of going the extra mile, marking lives, and giving a hand up to those in need.