Scale makes measurable impact

Published 10:24 pm Saturday, February 10, 2018

The best philanthropy, many nonprofit organizations will tell you, often comes from folks who see and meet a simple need.

Such was the case recently with a handicap-accessible scale donated to Western Tidewater Free Clinic by Patrick Heard and his family.

Heard is a volunteer for the free clinic, and his mother, Casey Carlson, works there, so his family is familiar with the needs of the clinic. But when they were shopping for a scale for Heard, who uses a wheelchair, they saw the opportunity to meet the need for the clinic as well.

Whether they use a wheelchair, a cane or a walker or simply have trouble maneuvering the ups and downs, many of the clinic’s patients have difficulty using a traditional scale, clinic director of development Ashley Greene said. The current scale also weighs up to only 400 pounds, and some patients at the clinic weigh more than that.

So when Heard and his parents, Carlson and Bob Heard, were shopping for a scale for him and scored a great price, they realized it would be a good opportunity to support the clinic at the same time. So they called back to where they had purchased the first one and ordered a second one, getting a great price on that one, too.

The new scale allows more patients to use it and features a ramp on both sides for easy accessibility. The clinic had more than 20,000 visits in 2017, so many patients will have many visits made easier with the new scale.

Even many medical centers and hospitals don’t have this type of equipment, Greene said. This scale will be a benefit to the clinic’s patients, staff and volunteers for many years.

Patrick Heard and his family have made a measurable impact on the clinic, and we thank them on behalf of the entire community.