By Emily West, Correspondent
On Tuesday, May 3, in the Great Hall of the Bawcom Student Union Center at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, the Body of Christ Community Clinic’s fundraising campaign held a charity dinner to share the progress of their growth with their many sponsors and patrons. The fundraiser included a silent auction, a donation presentation, a catered supper, and several addresses by guests such as Mickey Spagnola, the feature writer for the Dallas Cowboys.
The Body of Christ Community Clinic (BOCC) is a ministry supported by 14 local churches and hundreds of individual donors to the end of providing quality medical and dental care to those who cannot afford it. The ministry’s most recent project has been to construct a dental clinic in addition to the medical care they currently offer. “We prayed… and God answered us with a pretty big gift: a building,” stated John C. Perry, Chairman of the BOCC, in his missional address. The building, a church, was donated debt-free to the clinic, and has been under construction since 2014. Perry quoted Matthew 7:7: “ask and it will be given unto you… This is truly what has happened with the Dental Clinic, and God’s not done with us.”
When asked what Belton locals can do to continue contributing to BOCC, Board Chairman Perry responded earnestly: “They can always make donations to our organizations, because we’re still trying to raise funds for our dental clinic. The other thing we need is volunteers. You don’t have to be a medical or dental professional to volunteer. We need people to help in registration, and we desperately need Spanish-to-English translators… but if the members of this community do nothing else for us, please pray.” Donna Dunn, Executive Director of the BOCC, expressed her direct thanks to those who donated to the silent auctions. “The people of Belton really stepped up to help us,” she continued gratefully.
Before the silent auctions concluded, Jerry McCartney of Trumh Manufacturing and Clayton Homes presented a check for $3850 to the BOCC for their continued efforts in the community. “We believe in a lot of the same things that BOCC believes in, and in what they do for the community… What we do is our team members put donations in a fund every week, and they choose where they want that donation to go, and the company matches that. And then we have a pride team that votes on the cause that will receive the donations, and we’re really glad they chose these folks.” McCartney continued that the company was incredibly proud to be donating the funds on behalf of their team members, and that it was an honor to be working with such caring employees.
Spagnola offered his presence at the banquet, claiming that “you could have had a Hall-of-Famer, but you got me, instead.” He commented for the Journal on the BOCC’s current project, explaining why he came to speak: “I’ve kind of learned, being around the Cowboys, how their brand name can help others; the Cowboys are very big on helping the Salvation Army. We can use our name to help other people that are less fortunate, and that’s like what’s going on, here. Those of us that have broader shoulders can help support people that are less fortunate. What they’re doing is just a wonderful idea, because everyone thinks of people needing medical care, but they don’t realize that dentistry is also something people need.”
“During visits with patients, I try to ask at least one nonmedical, nonrelevant question,” stated Dr. Darren Hamm, a medical professional who volunteers his time with the BOCC. “It helps me remember that they are people with a story, and not just a patient. It helps me connect one a personal level and it helps me remember their story. We each have a story to tell and hopefully our stories bring glory to God for His work of grace in our lives.”
“We are well on our way, under God’s leadership and with God’s guidance, to complete a dental clinic for the people who need it most in Belton… We’re so thankful for all of you who have worked so hard, either at the clinic or by donating funds, to get this job for us,” Chairman Perry informed the audience with finality. The clinic is currently about 60 percent to its goal of $250,000 to bring their building up-to-code as a dental clinic. For more information on how to get involved with the Body of Christ Community Clinic’s many ministries, visit their website: http://www.bodyofchristclinic.org/