More than 400 corporate and community citizens gathered in April for Shepherd's Hope's annual fundraising and volunteer recognition event. The "Call to Hope" breakfast at Rosen Shingle Creek raised $490,000 in one-time gifts as well as multi-year and five-year pledges for the faith-based nonprofit celebrating its 20th anniversary, and highlighted the work of volunteer medical and lay personnel who aid in providing free medical care to the uninsured and underinsured at the organization's five local health clinics.
Shepherd's Hope is a vital safety net health care provider for the estimated 450,000 in Central Florida who are do not have health insurance. "Access to quality health care for our neighbors in need has been the mission of Shepherd's Hope since we served our first patient in 1997," said President/CEO Marni Stahlman. "Many of our patients are low-wage working families who struggle to simply afford basic housing and living needs. Far too often, they forgo medical care due to financial limitations or use area hospital emergency departments as a way of accessing care. Shepherd's Hope makes it possible for these very same patients to find hope and healing while also mitigating the staggering financial impact to our community."
The "Call to Hope" event also honored the work of 2,300 Shepherd's Hope volunteers who in 2016 contributed 42,519 hours equal to $2.4 million in in-kind volunteer services. Named in honor of Shepherd's Hope first volunteer Executive Director, Dr. Ruth McKeefery, Volunteers of the Year in four categories received special recognition. They were:
- Outstanding General Volunteer of the Year: Muhammed Hasan
- Outstanding Volunteer Nurse of the Year: Bonnie Kellogg, R.N.
- Outstanding Volunteer Clinical Practitioner of the Year: Patricia Weinstein, ARNP
- Outstanding Physician of the Year: Dr. Ronald C. Knipe
With the sponsorship support of, ABC Fine Wine & Spirits, Enterprise Holdings Foundation, Florida Hospital, Orlando Health, Publix Supermarkets Charities, The Martin Andersen-Gracia Andersen Foundation, Inc., and Rosen Shingle Creek the costs associated were partially underwritten, assisting in more of the dollars raised at the event to go directly to patient services.
Watch this year's "Patient Story of Hope" on YouTube and the "Volunteer of the Year Story of Hope" on YouTube.
Shepherd's Hope is a nonprofit organization that provides medical services to uninsured and underserved Central Floridians, by encompassing all faiths and serving all faiths at five area health centers. Founded in 1997, cumulatively 237,000 patient visits and medical services have been provided thanks to the dedication annually of more than 2,300 volunteers and partnerships with hospitals, faith groups, foundations, corporations and community partners. Shepherd's Hope, Inc. is headquartered at 4851 S. Apopka-Vineland Road, Orlando, FL 32819. Learn more at ShepherdsHope.org or (407) 876-6699.