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Community Clinic Volunteer Ensures Center Gets the Updates It Needs

CONCORD, N.C. — The only free community medical clinic in Cabarrus County has gotten a boost in funding. Lowe’s is giving the clinic an $80,000 grant for necessary facility improvements. However, the assistance of one donor, volunteer and contractor, James Gerber, has allowed the clinic to see even further updates from patient-accessible changing doors to new windows.

Gerber, a part-time nurse and retired New York firefighter isn’t originally from North Carolina. He moved to the Tar Heel state to be closer to family and learned quickly that every community is in need of extra help.

“I grew up with a single mother raising twin sons, and I saw how much she struggled, and one of the things she actually did was she flipped homes to put us in a house,” Gerber said. 

He credits his upbringing, and 20 years in the fire service, for his willingness to give back. 

“It really was amazing that you could do so much for people in their most critical moment of need and be that person that really helps out. And that’s kind of what I’m doing here,” Gerber said. 

He said when he realized the condition of the Community Free Clinic, which was built in the ’70s, there was no question that between his handyman skills and access to volunteers, he was going to be a part of the facility’s transformation. 

“When we came into these rooms, they had a lot of stuff that wasn’t necessary or even relevant anymore. One of the things is they had x-ray boxes that were in here,” Gerber said. 

The Community Free Clinic in Concord applied and was granted $80,000 from Lowe’s in June. Gerber said he thought the facility needed more money for all the work that is done for people in need. That’s when he started a capital campaign in hopes of raising $100,000 for the Community Free Clinic. 

“I understand that like they need some paint here, and that’s something that’s important, but really what they need is you know, funding to be open five days a week. They need funding to replace some of the equipment through all this construction work that they’re doing here,” Gerber said. 

Among Gerber, including volunteers from firefighters from Concord Station #2, a group from F3 Fitness Afton Ridge and the Hough High School Lacrosse team. Gerber said he began putting out the word to help raise more money and tells Spectrum New 1 that he’s determined to keep showing up at the clinic until it becomes a place patients and workers can be proud of.

“One way or another, that’s what firemen do. They see a problem, and they fix it. Doesn’t matter how long it takes, doesn’t matter what they need to do. We’re going to be here till the end,” Gerber said. 

If you would like to make a donation to the Community Free Clinic, you can do so by clicking here.

Source : Spectrum Local News