Don Claytor is a Volunteer in Nashville, TN. He uses the extra time he has, being retired, to serve his community in Nashville. Read our quick interview below to learn how he invests his time and how you can get involved!
Eli: Hey Don! Thank you for taking the time to talk about your volunteer work. What organization do you volunteer with and where is it in TN?
Don: Faith Family Medical Center in Nashville.
Eli: How did you first hear about Faith Family Medical Center?
Don: I first learned about them through a radio spot that described their services. I later learned more about them through community service days sponsored by my employer to aid local non-profit organizations.
Eli: Wow! And to date, how long have you served with them?
Don: Five years.
Eli: What kind of volunteer work are you doing there and how many hours a week?
Don: My work most recently has involved inviting folks in the clinic’s patient community to attend free disease management days designed to help those dealing with diabetes and/or hypertension. On the day of the events, I help patients navigate through the various diagnostic and treatment stations set up at the clinic (provider, pharmacy, dental, vision, etc). I typically serve there from 2-5 hours a week.
Eli: What sparked your interest in volunteering in this field?
Don: Two things made Faith Family and their mission seem particularly worthy to me: 1) Their goal of serving those who are working but have limited or no access to proper health care. 2) Their objective of ministering to both the body and the spirit in a Christ-like manner and from a faith-based foundation. That intersection was intriguing to me and lead me to want to assist with that mission in any way I could.
Eli: What keeps you coming back every week to volunteer with Faith Family Medical Center?
Don: I whole heartedly support the providing of high quality low cost care to an under-served group. I also believe this particular mission is one that government is not well-positioned to serve, which is another reason I feel compelled to continue supporting the clinic’s cause ongoing.
Eli: Great answer. Do you have any specific stories that inspire you to keep on coming back?
Don: Without citing a specific story, I can say that I’ve observed in particular how patients treated through the wellness program at Faith Family MC, which teaches and encourages healthy diet and lifestyle changes, have benefitted. I’ve seen numerous examples of patients whose vital stats have improved dramatically after participating in this program. Most of these patients would not likely have had access to these types of services without Faith Family MC. I’ve also seen that patients are treated as family there, that individual relationships are paramount, and that patients are prayed with and for as needed. I believe this “whole person” type of treatment that patients are offered at Faith Family both saves and changes lives. Yes, that is an inspiration to me.
Eli: Volunteering isn’t always easy, especially when you are working around a busy schedule. How do you prioritize your time at FFMC in the midst of a busy schedule?
Don: I have the luxury of being retired from full-time work now. I do part-time work and travel a considerable amount, but I try to plan ahead and prioritize for dates when I have an opportunity to serve at Faith Family. It’s generally not a problem for me to accommodate for their schedule.
Eli: To anyone who is on the fence about volunteering somewhere, why should they say “yes”?
Don: Everyone has a passion for something. Many non-profits don’t have adequate funding to cover every service needed to meet their mission and vision. My recommendation is to review your core values, find a non-profit or cause consistent with one or more of those values, and reach out to them for possible avenues to serve. The likelihood is that you will land on an activity that you are passionate about, end up serving a deserving community and staff, and build relationships you would not have had otherwise. When that happens, you probably will find it will become a privilege prioritizing the time in your schedule to serve.
Eli: Beautiful answer. It is cliché, but so true that when you volunteer, you often receive just as much as you give. If someone where to be interested in volunteering with FFMC, how might they get involved?
Don: They can e-mail email@example.com or phone 615-649-3048 to get an idea of opportunities to serve.
Eli: Thank you so much Don! On behalf of the Governor’s Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, thank you for how you make TN better!
Don: Thanks Eli. I’m glad to have the chance to help.