Free Healthcare Fair, St. Ann, St. Louis, MO
What does love look like? it has the hands to help others. it has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy. it has eyes to see misery and want. it has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men. that is what love looks like!
On October 7, 2017, the Sathya Sai Centers in the St. Louis area jointly organized a free healthcare fair at the Holy Trinity Church-Parish Center in St. Ann, Missouri. The healthcare fair drew about 200 people, primarily from underprivileged Latino community, with half of them under the age of 19 years. Services were provided by healthcare professionals from a variety of specialties, ably assisted by several volunteers, including bi-lingual interpreters and teenagers and college students.
The comprehensive health screening included flu shots, blood tests, blood pressure checks and registration for free mammograms at the Saint Louis University Cancer Center. Attendees also received free reading glasses.
All children were given school supplies and 58 children were fitted with bicycle helmets. Infant car seats were inspected and 16 of them were found defective. They were placed with new ones. A bone marrow donor registration drive added 13 people to the “Be the Match” Registry. In addition, every attendee received a lunch bag containing a vegetarian subway sandwich, chips, an apple and water.
Two new services were introduced in this year’s healthcare fair: Relaxation Training and Household Pet Care. The goal was to relieve mental tension and have a calming effect on the patients. The Relaxation exercise utilizing deep breathing was well received by the attendees. The St. Louis County Pet Adoption Center brought two dogs to the fair, which offered an opportunity for the children, many of them living in impoverished and stressful conditions, some mental relief. The children experienced fun, therapeutic bonding and a calming effect through playing with the dogs.
All in all, it was a very fulfilling and gratifying day for the volunteers, many of whom have volunteered for several years for this healthcare fair.