HAGERSTOWN —An anonymous donor has, for the third year in a row, offered to match up to $10,000 in donations for each of three struggling, local nonprofit organizations that serve the homeless, people with no health insurance, and low-income seniors who need housing, leaders for those three organizations said Wednesday.
The three organizations are the Community Free Clinic; REACH of Washington County, whose programs include a cold weather shelter for the homeless; and Holly Place, a nonprofit assisted-living facility for low-income seniors.
The donor has agreed to match, dollar for dollar, donations made from Oct. 15 to Dec. 15, up to $10,000, for each of the three nonprofit groups, officials with the organizations said.
“I was elated; very, very humbled; very grateful,” said Robin Roberson, executive director for the Community Free Clinic at 249 Mill St. in Hagerstown.
“I’m just incredibly humbled and very grateful,” REACH Executive Director Jodie Ostoich said.
“I think it’s wonderful. It’s so generous and God provides. That’s all I can say because it is so needed, and it’s a miracle for us because we rely so heavily on donations to keep our doors open,” Holly Place Executive Director Melanie Davis said.
“It’s through generous people like that, that keeps us here to offer these low-income people a home that they need so much,” Davis said.
Holly Place, at 268 S. Potomac St. in Hagerstown, is at capacity with 15 residents, Davis said.
Asked about the status of Holly Place’s financial situation, Davis said, basically, it’s been day to day since Holly Place opened 24 years ago.
All three groups were able to raise more than $10,000 during the time period for the past two challenges, officials said.
Holly Place raised more than $40,000 trying to get a match last year, Davis said.
REACH raised approximately $82,000 during the eight-week period last year, Ostoich said.
Roberson said the Community Free Clinic raised more than $10,000 during last year’s challenge, but she didn’t have the exact figure.
Almost a year ago the clinic stopped seeing new patients due to funding issues. The clinic began seeing new patients again on Feb. 1, Roberson said.
Since Feb. 1, the clinic has seen 342 new patients, the highest number for new patients the clinic has ever had over a stretch of time that long, Roberson said.
The greatest demand for the clinic’s services is during the winter when seasonal expenses force some people to choose between paying for heat or food, or for heat or medication, Roberson said.
The clinic is managing about 2,500 patients, she said. Some only come to the clinic a few times for an illness such as bronchitis, while others have been treated at the clinic for years due to chronic health conditions such as diabetes or heart disease, she said.
“Diabetes is our No. 1 challenge,” Roberson said.
The clinic continues to operate Monday through Thursday, after cutting Friday hours in November 2011 to save on operational costs, she said.