Mountain Park doesn’t slow down, even during the summer. And why should we, when there are so many people that need our help? Each year we set summer-focused goals and this year we knocked them all out of the park.
Back-to-school physicals: Getting a checkup is an important part of getting back to school. Physicals ensure children are on track with medical, emotional and developmental milestones, and also clear them to participate in sports.
This summer our pediatricians saw more than 2,500 children and helped them get on the right track to a healthy school year with our no-cost physicals – and many of them went home with a brand new backpack with school supplies.
One mom shared with us that she has never received this type of treatment at a doctor’s office and that it was a great kickoff to the school year for her and her son.
Free Breakfasts and Lunches: During the school year, 22 million children get free or reduced-price meals, but less than a quarter have access to these meals once they’re out of school for the summer. As a community health center, we focus on whole patient health, and it’s important to us that children never go hungry. By partnering with the Summer Food Service Program and our amazing volunteers we were able to serve more than 9,000 nutritious breakfasts and lunches at our five clinics.
We also worked with the Feeding America BackPack Program and gave more than 400 families bags of food to take home to help them stay nourished during the weekend. The backpacks were filled with easy-to-prepare food to feed a family of four, three times a day, for two days. Between the Summer Food Service Program and Feeding America BackPack Program, we were able to feed more than 10,000 hungry bellies this summer. A huge thank you goes out to St. Mary’s Food Bank and the Roosevelt School district for all their help and contributions.
Volunteers: Our volunteers gave over 1,000 hours of their time in our clinics over the past few months. Many helped with our Reach Out and Read Program, which brings parents, pediatricians, children and volunteer readers together to promote early literacy.
Reading often gets lost in the summer shuffle, and parents with language barriers may struggle to read with their children. By bringing enthusiastic volunteers into our clinic waiting rooms, we help break down these barriers and help families realize the joy of reading. Many of our patients even got to take a free book home with them to keep!
With summer a distant memory, many of our volunteers are now back to school themselves. We want to thank all of them for their dedication and hard work helping our community. From feeding kids’ hungry tummies, keeping their minds and imagination growing while reading books, to making sure they stay healthy, we wouldn’t have been able to do it without you.
We hope that next summer we can help feed more families, give away more books and backpacks, and have more volunteers join our team. If you’re ready to make an impact, consider making a donation or becoming a Mountain Park volunteer.