Students and staff from Gem State Adventist Academy (GSAA) volunteered all three days during the Boise AMEN Clinic at Expo Idaho September 12-14. The clinic provided medical, dental, vison and other services to over 1,400 patients. Hundreds of volunteers helped provide services, including some of GSAA’s own alumni Dr. Victor Cook and Dr. Todd Spainhower.
The GSAA staff and students assembled and distributed food boxes from the Idaho Food Bank, escorted patients to the different medical stations, provided child care, translated for non-English speaking patients, and helped register people. In addition, the GSAA handbell choir performed for patients waiting outside to get into the clinic.
Sophomore Gabby Liebelt says, “My favorite job was running the food table. I loved getting to hear people share their stories and giving them the joy of a free box of food. It made me feel so good knowing we were making a difference in their lives. Coming together as a school and helping out made me realize the impact we could have on our community.”
Freshman Fred Martsch says, “Escorting people back and forth gave me a chance to get to know them and share about GSAA and why we were volunteering. I met lots of awesome people.”
Many students were surprised by how patiently people waited outside to be seen. “The long hours these people waited outside showed how badly they needed help. It makes you realize how privileged we are to have insurance and get medical care,” says junior Kevin Recuenco.
“I don’t know how some of these people keep smiles on their faces after hearing about their pain and suffering,” says junior Jenae Rogers. “I talked to a person with a brain tumor, someone who was going blind, and another person who had been kicked in the mouth.”
Another junior, Grace Thomsen, summed it up well, “One of the most important things in life is helping others and making a difference. I loved participating in the AMEN Clinic because it not only made a difference in the lives of these patients, but in my life as well.”
The Boise AMEN Clinic was put on by the Adventist Medical Evangelism Network, which provides clinics for the uninsured and underinsured in communities around the United States. The clinic was sponsored by former GSAA faculty Fred Cornforth. These clinics wouldn’t be possible without the help of countless volunteers and medical professionals.