Canby Cares event offers free dental, vision, medical services
Last year 190 people received more than $90,000 worth of dental, vision and medical care, along with other services, at the annual Canby Cares event hosted by Canby Foursquare Church. They're hoping to do that again this year with the much-needed help of the community.
Canby Cares was initially organized by the Canby Center from 2009 to 2011, and Canby Foursquare took it on starting in 2016. It is a festive family event, where partners offer free services to those "neighbors" who have financial and medical needs.
This year's event takes place at Canby Foursquare Church on Saturday, Sept. 22 from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. with check-in beginning at 6:30 a.m.
Canby Cares organizer and Canby Foursquare community engagement coordinator Joy Strube pointed out a change to the mission for this year. The statement used to include the word "providing" but has been replaced with the word "offering." It now reads:
"To care for our neighbors with medical and financial vulnerabilities by offering medical and social services in a festive and dignity-honoring atmosphere."
While it seems like a minor change, to Strube, it was intentional and important.
"In terms of our mission and objectives, we wanted to talk about offering because we don't see it as a provider-recipient relationship, we see us all as neighbors," Strube said. "So that was an intentional shift."
In fact, Strube has been on the receiving end at Canby Cares in an exchange with a houseless neighbor.
"There was an event detail that fell apart, and she saw me having a visible moment of panic. The tears started, and then she jumped out of line and gave me the biggest hug that I'd ever received," Strube said. "And it was at that moment that I realized my neighbor there had just as much to offer me as I had to offer her…That's really our heart of mutuality, because our neighbors have so much to offer; they sometimes just need that extra support like we all do in different ways."
Much of that extra support will be available at Canby Cares through the help of business and non-profit partners. Here is a rundown of what the event has to offer.
In partnership with Caring Hands Worldwide and local dental offices, event attendees will be able to receive essential dental care.
With the help of Casey Eye Institute, Pacific University and Canby Vision Coalition, attendees can receive full 90-minute vision exams, which includes prescriptions and glasses (to arrive within a month) as necessary.
This offering has proved impactful in years past.
"Our first year, we actually had a volunteer…He spent the day just walking guests through vision services," Strube said. "And he had an elderly guest come through the vision and was so excited to receive her glasses prescription. The line that she told him, that he shared with me was: 'I'm so excited because I'll finally be able to read to my grandchildren.' "
The Canby Clinic and the Canby Healthcare Clinic are on board to offer limited medical services at the event, possibly including vitamin distribution.
The event also has a non-profit vendor exhibit where community organizations share the ongoing resources they provide. The Canby Center and Bridging Cultures will be there, along with mental health providers, Oregon Health Plan representatives, food services and more.
As a part of the resource fair, there will also be kids clothing distribution, family portraits and haircuts from Hands of Favor, a Portland-based organization.
"They recognize that haircuts at some point in the financial threshold become far more of a luxury," Strube said. "So their heart is to provide a quality haircut you'd receive in a salon to anyone who wants one that that's not necessarily usually in the budget for."
Food and Fun
Both breakfast and an authentic Mexican lunch will be served free of charge. Kids can play in the Kids Zone and people will have the chance to engage with an interactive art display.
Canby Cares is still in need of additional help to make the event possible, such as dental volunteers, general event volunteers and business sponsors.
Several area businesses have already come on board to sponsor different aspects of the event, but more are needed. Sponsorship ranges from $300 to provide Kids Zone prizes and supplies to $2,500 to provide lunch for 900 guests and volunteers.
Organizations that are already partnering with Canby Foursquare for Canby Cares include: Canby Excavating, Western Display, DirectLink, 4:8 Financial, Neurotherapeutics, Caring Hands Worldwide, Casey Eye Institute, Pacific University, David Lien and Canby Vision Coalition, Canby Clinic, Canby Healthcare Clinic, Canby Center, Bridging Cultures, Hands of Favor, Heart's & Hair and Canby School District and school counselors.