Free clinic serves hundreds of locals in need of health and well - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

Free clinic serves hundreds of locals in need of health and wellness services

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Eau Claire (WQOW) - Once a year, a free clinic draws hundreds of people seeking health and wellness services to an Eau Claire church.

Perry Polnaszek, the founder of Touched Twice United Clinic, said, "It's an invitation to become part of a community that represents love in this way."

For almost 700 guests receiving a service of care can be a humbling moment of relief.

Polnaszek said, "It's really amazing to see what people can do." Christie Harrison, from Altoona, said, "It saves a little money. Boys hair grows fast, and we do get our oil changed here, so it helps a lot."

Brooke Gilbertson, from Holcombe, said, "I don't really have insurance so it's really nice that they open it up to everyone once a year."

For five years at Bethesda Lutheran Church, the Touched Twice United Clinic has offered its annual services like, oil changes, chiropractic and hair cuts, all at no cost to its guests and all serviced by volunteers.

Gilberston said, "I think it's really great to open up that opportunity for people who can't afford it, for families that can't afford it."

Michael Fitzgerald, an occupational medicine physician at Mayo Clinic Health System, said, "Some of the things I've learned about the people in our community who really are in need, sometimes things maybe overlooked or may not be able to access services that they need."

Justin Paintner, a car mechanic volunteer, said, "I'm sure it's a great opportunity for them. Sometimes, some people, it might be the only oil change for them in the year."

Polnaszek said, "It's really the local community, looking to serve their neighbor."

Harrison said, "When you see a lot of smiling faces, it's uplifting to see so many people willing to help."

Local doctors volunteered their time to provide glucose, cholesterol and vision screenings. The founder of the free clinic said about 15 churches in the area took part in making this year's event possible.

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