YEARS OF SERVICE: 10 years
WHAT HE DOES: Wessling is a physical therapist who volunteers his services once a week to the homeless at St. Vincent dePaul Health Clinic.
ABOUT THE ORGANIZATION: The clinic is operated by Coordinated Health Services, a nonprofit organization that provides health care for the homeless and uninsured. Coordinated Health also operates the Good Samaritan Respite Center, which provides short-term residential medical care without charging clients a fee. If a service is needed that Coordinated Health cannot provide, it offers its clients assistance in obtaining it.
WHY HE DOES IT: "After I retired, I thought I ought to do volunteer work. I get more rewards than probably the patients get. It's really fulfilling to help people.
"Our whole medical provision system is very poorly designed in this country. The only people who get reasonably good care are those who are well-to-do, and those who can qualify for programs like Medicaid. But in order to qualify for Medicaid, you really have to be impoverished. It's getting harder and harder for people to qualify for Medicaid or Social Security. If they qualified for either one of those, they would no longer qualify for a program like this."
Wessling is also a member of the Secular Franciscan Order, which involves reaching out to those less fortunate. His volunteer work is his part of his postulate within the order.
HOW YOU CAN HELP: Volunteers are an integral part of the center's operations and are always needed, specifically those with a background in the medical field. Monetary donations help support the cost of patient care. To volunteer or donate, call Kimberly Blanchard, executive director, at (706) 364-2600 or send an e-mail to email@example.com.