Oct. 5 Community Care Clinic can meet some of your needs for free

clothing
Could you use some winter clothing? Mike Jacobson, pastor at the Faith Evangelical Free Church in Prairie du Chien, stands among the many tables of winter clothes that will be offered for free to families and individuals attending the Community Care Clinic Oct. 5 at the church. (Photo by Correne Martin)
oil changes
Three oil change bays will be set up at the Community Care Clinic to meet your needs. If you’re interested in a free oil change on Oct. 5, between 9 a.m. and 2 p.m., call the Faith Evangelical Free Church, 326-6959, to set up an appointment. (Submitted photo)

By Correne Martin

Receiving help and giving help are both blessings in their own way, especially when they involve physical and spiritual needs, and everyone can use a little help from time to time.

The third annual Community Care Clinic is planned for Saturday, Oct. 5 at the Faith Evangelical Free Church, 1110 E. Cass St., Prairie du Chien, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. All area residents, regardless of religious beliefs, are invited to attend and receive free oil changes, family photos, professional haircuts, manicures, child care, winter clothes, Bibles, prayer, face painting and even a complimentary lunch (noon to 1 p.m.).

“We’re trying to meet the needs of those in our surrounding communities,” Pastor Mike Jacobson said. “All the services are offered free by individuals who belong to our congregation. We have about 80 volunteers from the church lending a hand.”

Each of the services is provided on a first come, first served basis, though anyone wanting an oil change should make an appointment prior to Saturday by calling 326-6959 (one vehicle per family). Equipment and materials will be provided for the oil changes, which are done by experienced mechanics in three separate bays. One oil change takes the volunteers just 10-15 minutes, and they even throw in a few extra bonuses, such as checking over the vehicle’s fluids or putting on windshield wipers if there’s time.

Last year, the crew performed 60 oil changes, and this year they have enough supplies to offer 72. “And we can always go get more oil,” Jacobson stated.

For the family photos, which have been popular in previous years, a room is set up inside the church with different backdrops to choose from. Families will receive several pictures (including 8x10s and 5x7s) to take home.
Inside sectioned off areas of another room, the haircuts and manicures are given by licensed providers. The Community Care Clinic has given out free vouchers for these services in the past for those who come to the clinic and run out of time.

“For some people, this is the first manicure they’ve had in years,” Jacobson said.

The child care is offered to those using the services, so the kids can enjoy face painting, the playground and games while their parents participate in the clinic.

In another large room of the church, tables upon tables are overloaded with winter clothes, including everything from scarves, hats and mittens to sweaters and coats. People are encouraged to fill a garbage bag or more with as many clothes as they need for their family.

“We’re not just here to meet physical needs but we’re also here for spiritual needs. If someone is looking for prayer, just talk or get a Bible, we’re very happy to spend some time with them,” Jacobson noted. “It can be a social time too.”
Everyone attending the clinic is asked to register upon arrival. They are assigned a host, who takes them to a master schedule where they can sign up for certain needs. According to Jacobson, people are asked to limit their services to a few, so the clinic can meet as many needs as possible, based on availability. Last year, over 150 people took advantage of the event.

There is a cost to the church for providing the Community Care Clinic; however, the church has a community fund that helps cover the expenses.

“We’ve seen an increase in the number of people who come and people who look forward to it every year. We get all walks of life,” Jacobson added. “We see it as a mission of our church to give back to our communities. It’s a real boost in the arm for us to feel like we’ve helped people.”

For more information, call 326-6959 or visit faithchurchpdc.org.

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