Adam* and his wife, JoAnn*, learned about St. Petersburg Free Clinic in the 2000’s and have donated food and funds off and on for years. Their interest was first to provide food to people in need, but with the help of some zombies, their impact grew, and ultimately a personal connection strengthened their commitment.

He can’t pinpoint a specific time when he first learned about the Free Clinic;  Adam simply had come to know the impactful work of the organization, most specifically in providing food to people in need.

Enter the zombies.

Adam and JoAnn decided to organize the first Thrill St Pete, in 2009, (a public group performance of Michael Jackson’s Thriller – complete with Zombie make-up and costumes).   The international organizers (in Canada) encourage groups to donate to a local nonprofit where the dance will be held.

Adam did not hesitate.  St. Petersburg Free Clinic immediately came to mind; “St. Petersburg Free Clinic has the most immediate and biggest impact of any group I can think of in the area”.  He saw an opportunity to have an even greater impact than what they could do alone – and to expose more people to the great work of St. Petersburg Free Clinic.

The event was attended by over 200 people — dancers and spectators — food barrels were provided to collect food donations.  So, here was a group of zombies dancing for food.

After the event, Adam and JoAnn had been considering a larger donation to the Free Clinic.   “We like the idea of giving; it gives us a sense of satisfaction and fulfillment. We live in this community and want to help support others who are struggling.”  When they saw information about the Helping Hands monthly donor program, the convenience of a monthly gift just appealed to them.  Adam and JoAnn signed up as monthly donors.

Initially, Adam was drawn to the Food Bank – providing for a basic need that everyone shares.  But not until Adam toured the programs in person did he learn about the three residential programs.  This knowledge strengthened his commitment and connection to the Free Clinic in a very personal way: Adam had lived in a shelter as a child, so he sees the value in having these safe places in our community.

Our supporters each have a unique connection to St. Petersburg Free Clinic.  These personal connections strengthen their commitment and, in turn, enable more people in need to receive help. Thank you!

*Name changed for donor anonymity