2013 D.Thomason Grants

First Presbyterian Church Shreveport

First Presbyterian Church is blessed to have many members who have remembered the church through testamentary and life-time gifts to the Legacy Fund. These permanent gifts have enabled us to minister to the needs of others in the name of Jesus Christ above and beyond the work and gifts made possible through the church’s annual operating budget. D. Thomason is one member in particular whose testamentary gift has made possible the making of grants approaching $5,000,000 to support the work of our Outreach partners and Presbyterian ministries locally, nationally, and around the world.

D. Thomason grants for 2013 totaled $111,600. The recipients of the 2013 D. Thomason Grants were recognized and thanked for their good work during worship on February 9, 2014. Those receiving grants were:

Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary, for the seminary’s capital campaign

Church of Bangladesh, to fund laptop computers for a number of the church’s pastors

First Presbyterian Church-Natchitoches, to help fund HVAC repairs and sanctuary lighting

Holmes Chapel Presbyterian Church-Monticello, AR, to fund a program to assist students to stay in school and graduate

Joy to the World Ministries, to help fund a secondary school project in Dzuwa region of Malawi

Montreat Conference Center, to fund a new LCD projector for Anderson Auditorium

Mo-Ranch Assembly Center, to remedy a particular accessibility issue at the King Dining Hall

Providence House, to replace futons at the Cotton St. facility

Volunteers for Youth Justice, to support its youth diversion programs

The ARC of Caddo-Bossier, to support its pre-school/daycare program

Common Ground Community, Inc., to fund a portion of the cost of replacing a floor in its main building

Food Bank of Northwest Louisiana, to fund the replacement of sorting tables

Highland Center Ministries, LLC, to fund the purchase of school uniforms (Maggie Lee’s Closet) and support for men’s clothing closet

Hope for the Homeless, for furnishings for the main day room of the drop-in center at the new Hope Connections

Interfaith Pharmacy, for prescription medications for its clients

Literacy Volunteers, for computers and furnishings for its students

Martin Luther King Health Center, to fund an upgrade of its electronic medical records system

Samaritan Counseling Center, to help convert to an electronic records system

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MLKHC Clinic Days

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“A typical MLKHC patient is an African American female between 31 and 64 years old who resides in Caddo Parish and earns less than $12,000 per year. The annual services provided to this typical patient are valued between $10K and $15K.”

–MLKHC Annual Report (May 2012)

 

The Martin Luther King Health Center, serving the community since 1986, is the oldest free clinic and licensed pharmacy in Louisiana. They currently hold 13 monthly clinics and see nearly 200 patients a month who are insured or underinsured. Last year alone, nearly $1.2 million worth of medications were donated and distributed to their patients.

First Presbyterian Church is sponsoring three clinic days at the Martin Luther King Health Center this spring: April 9, May 14, and May 23. In addition to sponsoring these clinics, we would like to have members of our congregation volunteer during these clinics. Non-medical volunteers would help by signing people in, directing traffic in the clinic, and organizing mail outs. The clinics last from 8:30am-3:30pm, and we will split up the days into shifts, the first 8am-11:30am and the second noon-3:30pm. We will need 2-3 volunteers for each shift. It would be great to have some sort of First Presbyterian representation, so please contact our Outreach Coordinator Lauren Rogers at the church office if you’re interested.

How we can help: Samaritan Counseling Center

samaritan

The idea for Samaritan Counseling in Shreveport came about in 1984, as Noel Methodist began realizing there was a need for counseling in which mind, body, and spirit were all considered. Opened in 1986, Samaritan Counseling Center provides faith-based counseling to individuals, families, and groups as well as education programs for congregations and organizations. In 2012, they committed to well over 4,000 counseling hours. Their clients come from all over and from all walks of life. Session fees are based on family income, and while they accept most insurances, they cannot accept Medicaid. They help subsidize costs for their less fortunate patients through the help of donations and fundraisers. Their next fundraiser will take place Saturday, April 27th. More information is located below.

Outreach opportunities and needs:

  • Participation in their fundraisers – clay shoot in the spring, run in the summer, and banquet in the fall
  • Donation of office and/or cleaning supplies
  • Volunteers to come in and clean the building (they do not have a cleaning service)

Samaritan Fundraiser

How we can help: Mercy Center

“HIV/AIDS is not a death sentence.” -Latoya White, Mercy Center Director

HIV (human immunodeficiency virus)/AIDS (acquired immunodeficiency syndrome) was officially recognized as a disease in 1981, and with this discovery and diagnosis came a stigma. Hospitals were turning away people with HIV/AIDS, and the Catholic Dioceses of Shreveport saw a need to create a haven for those suffering from the disease, so they founded the Mercy Center in 1989. It began as a hospice since at the time people struggling with HIV/AIDS were not living very long. Over time, with advancements in medicine helping to prolong the lives of HIV/AIDS victims, the Mercy Center developed from a hospice into a permanent housing facility. In a permanent housing facility, residents are allowed to stay as long as they deem necessary rather than being forced to move out after a designated allotted time (the longest resident the Mercy Center has ever housed stayed for nine years).

To be considered for the Mercy Center, one must already be a client with the Philadelphia Center (who now oversees the Mercy Center). Unfortunately, the need currently exceeds the space, and the Mercy Center is only able to house fourteen individuals at a time with fifteen more currently on the waiting list. A majority of the residents are men because many of the women who wish to apply also have children, and the Mercy Center currently does not have the resources to house children; however, they hope to do so in the future. Many of the residents in the Mercy Center work, but there are some who cannot due to physical and mental limitations. The Mercy Center stresses the importance of giving back, and so all residents are required to perform 2 hours of community service a week. The Louisiana AIDS Drug Assistance Program helps cover HIV medication cost for most (these drugs can cost over a thousand dollars a month), and the Martin Luther King Health Center and Interfaith Pharmacy help to provide the residents with other needed medications.

Outreach opportunities and needs:
• Meals for the residents (FPC currently provides dinner on the third and fourth Tuesdays of each month)
• Donated books and DVDs
• Volunteers to visit with the residents

AIDS-Ribbon

How we can help: Martin Luther King Health Center

“A typical MLKHC patient is an African American female between 31 and 64 years old who resides in Caddo Parish and earns less than $12,000 per year. The annual services provided to this typical patient are valued between $10K and $15K.” –MLKHC Annual Report (May 2012)

The Martin Luther King Health Center, serving the community since 1986, is the oldest free clinic and licensed pharmacy in Louisiana. They currently hold 13 monthly clinics (3 all-day, 1 evening, the rest morning). They see nearly 200 patients a month who are insured or underinsured, and most patients are on a three-month basis, meaning they will become familiar with the other patients attending their clinic because they all are scheduled on the same three month rotation; this makes for a friendly, hospitable, and sometimes very lively atmosphere at the center. Last year alone, nearly $1.2 million worth of medications were donated and distributed to their patients. If you would like to know more, check out their website at www.mlkhealth.com. Also, Executive Director Janet Mentesane is scheduled to attend the Presbyterian Women Christian Missions and Community Action Program on November 5th to further discuss the mission of MLKHC. The program begins at 11am, and lunch is $8. Reservations are required.

Outreach opportunities and needs:

  • Medical volunteers: physicians, nurses, and nurse practitioners knowledgeable in primary, internal, and emergency care (MLKHC has its own malpractice insurance)
  • Groups to sponsor a clinic day (the estimated cost is $1000)
  • Someone interested in website design to revamp their website
  • Volunteers to help on clinic days- helping people sign in, directing traffic in the clinic, organizing mail outs (contact Jason Geslois if interested)
  • Donated copy paper, pens, mailing labels, envelopes, white-out, and toilet paper

“The ministry at MLK provides excellent care for patients with complex medical conditions.  MLK is often able to provide medications free of charge and to coordinate care with LSU Health Shreveport.  I volunteer there because I love taking care of people and so does the team at MLK.  They make it fun and rewarding.”  -William Lunn, MD

How we can help: St. Luke’s Medical Ministry

St. Luke’s Medical Ministry was inspired by St. Anna’s Medical Ministry in New Orleans, an organization that provided healthcare to the poor following Hurricane Katrina. In 2008, St. Luke’s Medical Ministry began offering services in Northwest Louisiana, and they now visit Mansfield, Minden, Vivian, OilCity, Cedar Grove, Common Ground, the Highland Blessing Dinner, and the Hope House. Most of these visits are in conjunction with food pantries or meals being served. The purpose for returning to the same communities is to allow follow-up care to the patients as well as to establish relationships. Run strictly by volunteers, St. Luke’s operates in a van that includes an examination room and a screening area. The biggest problem they come across is high blood pressure; over 40% of their patients struggle with this. Those who stop by the van are able to see a physician and nurse practitioner, and they are able to receive prescriptions if necessary. One main goal of the ministry is preventative care, which includes health education. Currently, St. Luke’s sees an estimated 150 patients a month, offering them free basic medical services. Visit www.stlukesmedicalministry.org for more information, including the dates and times of their various clinics.

Outreach opportunities and needs:

  • Huge need for physicians and nurse practitioners – one doesn’t even need to commit every month, maybe once a quarter or so
  • Volunteers to register clients, particularly in Cedar Grove, but also at the Highland Blessing Dinner