Our gifts don’t come just from our wallets and bank accounts; they come from our hearts and hands.
At Encompass, we foster extraordinary relationships with the people we call partners and we have a passion to make a long-term positive impact on the communities where we live and work.Shawnee Christian Health Center
Dr. David Dageforde traveled around the world on mission trips, helping poor people thousands of miles away. But his vision was to build a health clinic just a dozen miles from his home, providing medical care for an underserved, low-income neighborhood in Louisville.
“At the time, I thought it was an impossible vision,” said Rudy Davidson, the former president of the Shawnee Neighborhood Association, who shared the doctor’s dream.
When Dageforde spoke about the idea at church one day in 2010, John Stewart listened and started asking questions. A few weeks later, Stewart showed up with detailed drawings that put Dageforde’s vision on paper.
“The drawings were wonderful, but I knew we couldn’t afford to build it,” Dageforde said. “I told him, ‘In 15 or 20 years when we’ve raised the money, I’ll come back to you.’ But John said, ‘What if we just build it for you now?’”
In just a few months, Stewart had devoted Encompass’ team to the job and had convinced others in the construction business to donate time, talents and materials. With other donations and volunteer work from churches and businesses, the vision became reality in less than a year.
In its first year, the clinic logged more than 3,000 patient visits, treating uninsured, low-income residents throughout West Louisville for $20 a visit. This year, the clinic expects to nearly triple the number of people served.
Shawnee Christian Health Center has eight employees and a group of volunteers who provide “care for the whole person, emphasizing physical, spiritual, psychological and social care.”
The clinic and the neighborhood association’s efforts have been catalysts for change in a place where crime is too high and hope is too low. Classes on healthy meal planning and nutrition are drawing people to the clinic, Davidson said. Two community gardens have been planted across the street, and beehives will soon produce honey.
“It’s a transformation that’s going on,” he said. “The amazing thing is that it happened in just a few years.”
Kailen Combs Taylor, Cancer Fighter
Kailen Combs Taylor’s body has been through a lot in her 23 years on Earth. Blood clots, E. coli food poisoning, colitis, Crohn’s disease, anaphylactic shock, surgical procedures and dozens of medications.
In late 2012, she faced the toughest test yet when she was diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer. The seriousness of the disease and the complications added by a lifetime of gastrological maladies meant she needed the nation’s best cancer-fighting doctors: those at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minn.
The costs of the many airplane trips and hospital stays that would be needed were almost as daunting as the cancer. So Kailen and her family reached out to friends and strangers for help.
At a fundraising dinner, Kailen met the Stewarts. “It was an instant connection,” she said. “You could see how genuine and caring they are.”
The Stewarts and the Encompass family joined Team KCT that evening and they’ve never left her side. Throughout 2013, they sponsored 10 trips to the Mayo Clinic for treatment and care – airfare, hotel rooms and much more.
“They saw a need and they gave without question,” Kailen said. “It relieved so much stress and pressure and allowed me to focus on healing.”
Nearly a year later, Kailen has survived numerous rounds of radiation and chemotherapy. And to everyone’s amazement, Kailen’s doctors say she’s now cancer free.
She’s looking forward to getting back to living – spending time with her husband, Bryan; restarting her career as a medical assistant; and sharing her testimony on the glory of God.
Kailen knows she’s here today not just because of medical care and money. It’s the power of prayers.
“To know that people are getting up every morning and praying for me, that makes a difference.”
The Gifts of Giving
If you think $50 won’t buy much these days, just ask the employees of Encompass.
At the 2012 company Christmas party, everyone received $100 — $50 to spend on themselves and $50 to spend on someone else. No rules. Just follow your heart.
Here’s how some of those dollars are making a difference:
Comfort for Nursing Home Resident
An elderly woman from Brazil, confined to a nursing home in New York City after she was seriously injured in a car accident, has a new television thanks to Ron James, Vice President for Construction at Encompass.
“Her TV was broken, she didn’t speak any English and she didn’t have many visitors,” James said. He learned of the woman’s story from a close friend who works at the facility. James spent the $50 gift and much more to buy a new television; he pays her monthly cable bill, too.
“She was as happy as could be,” James said. “And it makes me feel good, too.”
New Equipment for Camp MARC
Adults with intellectual disabilities enjoyed a week of activities, music and fun at a Western Kentucky summer camp thanks to Chad and Ashley. Ashley volunteered for many summers at Camp MARC, which has been delighting the disabled for more than 50 years. She gave her $50 and more to the camp, which relies on donations to help pay for the equipment and activities that campers and their families look forward to all year.
“We are blessed with the mental and physical abilities to do whatever our hearts desire, and that is truly a gift,” Ashley said. “I thank God for allowing the campers and staff to touch my life in the ways they have.”
7 Pairs of Shoes and Socks for Kids in India
Seven children in India are wearing socks and shoes because Beverly matched the $50 Encompass gift and gave it all to Soles for Souls, a Nashville-based non-profit that provides shoes and clothing to impoverished children across the world.
“Children there can get a parasite in their feet from walking barefooted,” she said. “The parasites cause damage, infection and, sometimes, the loss of toes.”
The experience was gratifying. “I was so excited to be part of this great cause,” she said. “It’s such a blessing to be able to give gifts in the name of Encompass.”
Encompass Has A Soft Spot For The West End School Boys
For those of you who don’t know, the West End School (WES) is a free, private-school for at-risk boys located on the west side of Louisville. Their headmaster, Robert Blair, was the former headmaster of Kentucky Country Day. Mr. Blair and his wife have dedicated their lives to providing these boys with an excellent, well-rounded education in a safe environment.
The boys at the West End School spend most of their time diligently working on school assignments and participating in after-school programs, so Encompass wanted to treat them to an out of the ordinary experience.
On March 17th, a group of fifty five -consisting of Encompass team members, WES middle school boys, and WES faculty- set off on a motor coach to Indianapolis for a grand adventure. The group mingled over a nice Italian dinner at Buca di Beppo and cheered on their neighbor team, the Indiana Pacers at a NBA game against the Philadelphia 76ers.
Mr. and Mrs. Blair were able to take pleasure in a stress-free field trip while enjoying their time with the boys. The Encompass team members relished in the experience and gained a new appreciation for the West End School boys and faculty. The best part was the contagious excitement and joy radiating from each boy.
These are the moments that we live and work for at Encompass.
Thank you to the Blairs and the West End School for allowing us to share such an amazing day with the boys.