Mercy and Truth Medical Missions, along with the help from numerous community partners, hosted their third Annual Warm Up Wyandotte/Warm Up Shawnee community events. This year’s event was called: BOO to the Flu because, you guessed it, the event was held on Halloween. Mercy and Truth, along with Advent Health Systems, United Healthcare and Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Kansas City sponsored the event and helped to defray costs.
Flu shots are always important for the uninsured and underserved, because they are a preventive and proactive measure. However this year, with the fact that COVID-19 symptoms can present similar to the flu, flu shots become even more critical. If you have received the shot and present the same symptoms, providers will know to administer a COVID-19 test to you.
During BOO to the Flu, our clinics in Wyandotte and Johnson counties gave away 200 FREE flu shots, 200 FREE turkeys, 200 FREE hoodies, and gallons of laundry detergent at each location All were given away in record time this year.
Wyandotte clinic event
During setup the night before, one Wyandotte County resident came to the clinic to see if she could start waiting in the line. We encouraged her to come back the following morning. The line started forming over two hours in advance on Halloween and encircled the Mercy and Truth building.
Funding for the flu shots at our Wyandotte clinic came from the CARES Act through the Unified Government of Wyandotte County. Our clinic distributed 200 food boxes with assistance from Liberty Fruit, the United States Department of Agriculture, and the Dotte Mobile Grocer, as well as scarves made by a Mercy and Truth board member’s daughter and vitamins provided by CARES Act funding. The Overland Park Rotary Club donated and assisted in the giveaway of laundry detergent at both locations.
Shawnee clinic event
Mercy and Truth’s Shawnee location did not have a large enough parking lot to handle contactless lines for all items, so the event was held at Trail Ridge Middle School, a Shawnee Mission School District partner. Traffic started backing up on a busy Lenexa/Shawnee street, so the event had to start early. Items were distributed in a little over an hour.
The Shawnee event featured a performance by the Kansas City Symphony’s Brass Ensemble and the Shawnee Rotary Club also donated almost $1,000 worth of new children’s coats and underwear. Advent Health medical professionals administered the flu shots.
Volunteers at both locations used the exact same words to describe the event: Fun! (And were already asking about volunteering for next year.)
While we were pleased to provide 400 free flu shots and other supplies, sadly many county residents had to be turned away when supplies ran out. Despite this sad result, we formed some promising partnerships. Several of the volunteers contacted Mercy and Truth after the event. One of our medical volunteers is looking for ways for her church to partner with the clinics after seeing the response and continued need. Another volunteer is an audiologist who has offered to see patients in need of a hearing test/hearing aid
BOO to the Flu showed us that the need for preventive medicine, clothing, and food continues to grow in the communities where our clinics reside.