The season for charitable giving

Published 10:05 pm Wednesday, December 18, 2013

By Jane Schaubach

There is something wonderful about finding the perfect gift for a loved one. However, the perfect gift does not always come from a store.

Through the years, I have often given the gift of a charitable donation. When I give to a charity in memory or in honor of someone, I am able to convey to that person that they hold a special place in my heart and that I want to recognize an organization that is important to them.

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Recently, I received a letter from Western Tidewater Free Clinic notifying me that a friend had donated to the clinic in memory of a family member who had passed.

This gift touched me in so many ways: It honored my family member, acknowledged a difficult time in my life, recognized my commitment to the clinic and benefited my neighbors in Western Tidewater.

If I had received a simple card or flowers, I would have been grateful for my friend’s thoughtfulness; but by donating to the Clinic in memory of my loved one, I knew my friend really understood what was important to me.

Western Tidewater Free Clinic serves the uninsured of Suffolk, Franklin, and the counties of Isle of Wight and Southampton. Most of their patients are from low-income households, and many are employed, but due to various factors, insurance is not an option.

The clinic’s medical, dental, and pharmacy services provide comprehensive and coordinated care to their patients, most of whom battle chronic illnesses.

As Christmas quickly approaches, I may make a few trips to the local mall, but my greatest gifts will come when I put my pen to paper and honor my friends and family by making charitable contributions in their name.

Western Tidewater Free Clinic is important to me. Consider what is important to you and yours during this holiday season. Your charitable contribution may just be the perfect gift you have been looking for.

For more information and details on other services available at the Western Tidewater Free Clinic, call Miriam Beiler, executive director, at 923-1060, ext. 7001, or email The clinic is located 2019 Meade Parkway.

Jane Schaubach is a WTFC Board member and local volunteer. Email her at