United Way grant program taking applications

JACKSON COUNTY, MS (WLOX) - The Bethesda Free Clinic received an impact grant last year for $10,000. What did that mean for the clinic?

"It made it possible for us to see the increase in patient load," Clinic Director Mary Buffington said. "Since we've been here in Jackson County, we're up by about 61 percent. We were able to buy additional medication, additional medical items that we needed to use."

The grant also helped attract another doctor to Bethesda, a doctor that has now found a new calling.

"I retired from the VA in August of last year and came over here and it's really made a big difference in my life having something to do and being able to help people," Dr. Ronald Krueger said.

Most of the patients who visit Bethesda probably aren't even aware of the impact grant. What they do know is if it weren't for this clinic, they would probably not be getting life saving treatment at all.

One of those patients is Myra Burks. This is her only option for medical care.

"A lot of people can't afford insurance because it costs so much. And [what] this clinic means to me is that I'm able to get the medicine that I need to maintain my health, and as I always say, keep me here a little bit longer," Burks said.

At the United Way office, Executive Officer Carolyn Moore oversees the grant program.  Applicants have to meet certain criteria.

"They have to be a 501(c) agency, they have to have a board of directors, they have to have a CPA that looks at their books, and they have to provide a need for the community in Jackson-George County," Moore explained.

Last year, the grants totaled $50,000 and were given out to nine different agencies. The application deadline to apply for the grants is July 12th. You can call the United Way of Jackson and George Counties for more information or stop by the office on Magnolia Street in downtown Pascagoula.

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