came to you as an immigrant, with no money and could not speak English then. I did not even know the nature of my ailment.
I just knew sometimes I did not feel good. You accepted me and treated me better than I have been treated at places in my
home when I could afford to pay. Your staff has always treated me respectfully. I am not sure why or how I got the treatment
and care I needed, except by knowing you. I will forever be grateful for the opportunity you gave me to rid myself of this
ailment and the grace with which you did it.”
The letter came in October, 2015 from a young
woman who came to us from a mostly Muslim country on the other side of the world. She had been through a lot, including a
blood transfusion that had not only saved her life at the time, but had transmitted Hepatitis C. She did not choose Kansas
City and she happened to come to Family Health Care. She did not choose much about her life. Refugees have few choices. They
become the flotsam and jetsam of wrecked states that wash onto the beaches of far away places.
was a twentieth century academic and writer. The following is a paraphrase of a well-known story that he wrote as the “Star
Thrower” and then revised a few times:
writer, while walking along the shore early one morning, spotted a stranger repeatedly pick starfish from the sand and throw
them one-by-one into the sea. “Why are you throwing starfish into the water?” the writer asked. The stranger answered,
“The sun is up and the tide is going out. They will dry and die here.” The writer pointed out there were thousands
of starfish on the beach, one person could never make a difference."I made a difference for that
one”, the stranger answered, tossing another starfish into the welcoming sea.
Making a difference can happen in many ways. Each of you has helped “throw starfish back into the sea”
by supporting Family Health Care’s work with the vulnerable who happen to be part of our community. Thank you.