Michael Morgan had a special wish last year: “I wanted a nice smile for Christmas.”
As a result of an 18-year drug addiction, Michael had only 13 teeth remaining. Most adults have 32. Michael was turning his life around through a recovery program and wanted to repair his smile as part of his start to a renewed life.
Michael found Covenant Community Care and instantly felt at home. Their staff helped make his Christmas wish come true. He received a complete upper set of dentures and a partial lower set just in time to eat dinner with his family on Christmas Day.
Covenant Community Care, Inc. (Covenant) is a Federally Qualified Health Center with six sites in the Detroit area that help people who are uninsured or unable to afford the medical care they need. Covenant offers integrated, affordable and quality healthcare services including: dental, OB/GYN services, pediatrics, mental health, and a school-based medical unit.
Stories of hope like Michael’s are a key reason why this year, Covenant’s administrative team wanted to be thoughtful about how they could best help their patients during the holiday season. They surveyed their doctors, nurses, and other providers, asking them: “What do our patients need most this Christmas?”
In addition to help with replacement teeth, like Michael needed, the answers were as simple as bus passes to get to appointments; glucometers to manage diabetes; help with paying the initial cost of a specialized referral visit to a cardiologist, ophthalmologist, or physical therapy; and other health care-related items.
Covenant’s Development Director, Sam Young, compiled the feedback and turned it into the Covenant Christmas Market, which allows their supporters to contribute to a fund dedicated to helping their patients who need it most.
“[These items] provide dignity and hope to our patients… and allow folks to be healthy in more than just a physical sense,” Sam said. “In our community, there’s a tremendous need for all kinds of healing.”
He said that in the upcoming year, the fund will allow medical staff to surprise some of their patients that don’t have the ability to pay with news that a procedure will be given to them free-of-charge as a result of generosity during the holiday season.
“Giving the gift of health care can make a big impact for people,” said Sam.
Since becoming a Direct Relief partner in 2009, Covenant Community Care has received 79 shipments of medicines and medical supplies valued at nearly $925,000 (wholesale) to help them make a difference in their community.
Direct Relief is privileged to support partners like Covenant who provide physical, spiritual, and emotional healing to people like Michael.