Free Health Screening: Vista, Southern California.
The annual Vista Free Health Screening took place on June 9, 2017 at Brightwood College in Vista, California. While the Pacific South Region of the SSIO, USA coordinated the event, many of the 225 volunteers at the event were drawn from the faculty, staff and students from Brightwood College, who generously donated their time and energy to ensure a smoothly-run health screening. The Sai organizers were also supported by the California Lions Friends in Sight who provided vision screening and free eyeglasses, and the Vista Community Clinic which provided low cost follow-up medical and dental care.
The event started at 8 a.m. and lasted for 4 hours. There were 130 patients who received health screening in the field of primary care, pediatrics, podiatry, cardiology, dental and vision care. Patients from the local homeless shelter were provided free shuttle transportation. Employees of the Vista community clinic were on hand to schedule follow-up appointments and assist patients with completing financial aid paperwork to help cover health care expenses.
Each patient or family also received a bag of groceries and toiletry kit, or a large blanket when exiting the health screening event. Left-over bags of food, toiletries, and blankets were donated to the homeless shelter. A total of 200 bags of groceries, 150 bags of toiletries and 50 large blankets were donated to individuals and families in need.
The collaborative effort between the SSIO, USA with the local college and the local health clinic provider exemplifies Sai Baba’s message of engagement with the community, with all entities working together unified in love and in the selfless act of helping others. Many of the patients commented as they left about the kind and smiling volunteers who served them with so much love and attentive care.
The event reminded Sai members of Sai Baba's exhortation : “Only selfless service can encourage a person to reach the higher state of humanity. Selfless service alone gives the needed strength and courage to awaken the sleeping humanity in one’s heart. All service should be regarded as an offering to God, and every opportunity to serve should be welcomed as a gift from God. When service is done in this spirit, it will lead to self-realization.~ Sathya Sai Baba, SSS, Vol 20 (9).