Tough times are often the mother of invention. For Elkhart County, IN, where the unemployment rate has skyrocketed to 15 percent, these are tough times indeed. Maple City Health Care Center, a local community health center recognized that help was needed and came up with a new cure for patients to help pay off their medical bills: community service. The health center began offering $10 an hour toward health care if a patient volunteered at another non-profit organization. Their efforts recently caught the attention of National Public Radio which broadcast a story about the health center.
Another program that is continuously involved in community service is NACHC’s own Community HealthCorps . During the 2007-08 program year Community HealthCorps participants across the country helped to recruit 5,990 volunteers who provided over 44,400 hours of community service in areas serviced by Community Health Centers. Community HealthCorps participants are required to provide 1,700 hours of community service each. The 1,700 hours are a requirement to be a member of AmeriCorps. Now that’s a winning prescription!