Love Letter To Fan Free Clinic, Pt. 5
Read More: Fan Free Clinic
Editor’s Note: Fan Free Clinic was Virginia’s first free clinic. Shawn McNulty, previously the clinic’s Director of Health Outreach, reflects on over a decade of service to the organization in this series of articles.
I took a little longer to write this letter than I have the others because, well, this is the last. The last love letter to Fan Free Clinic from me needs to carry with it the right tone…and hitting the note right can be difficult. Words are just words, but often are imbued with greater meaning or power than one might intend. So, I shall keep my words simple, so as to elude any search for subtext.
I have loved my time at Fan Free Clinic. I would not change one moment of it. I have been given the opportunity to grow in ways I cannot begin to describe. I came to Fan Free Clinic a green and unexperienced person and leave able to soar on wings given me by the best of those who endeavor in the business of caring.
I want you to join me in committing to support Fan Free Clinic. This agency is unparalleled in the work it does for the community and its dedication to this community. It has touched so many lives over the course of its 42 years – and there are so many more who will need its services in the years to come. It is, to me, the heart and soul of Richmond, and I mean every word I say. Fan Free Clinic is worthy of your love and time and financial support and I pray you will join me.
I write these words because I have experienced some of the most amazing lessons from my time at Fan Free Clinic and have been the recipient of Fan Free Clinic’s kindness and support. I have learned and grown so much through the policies of generosity and welcoming that are Fan Free Clinic’s hallmark. I hope you will take the opportunity to come to know this wonderful place.
I couldn’t write these words without acknowledging some whose impact has been the greatest in my life. Susan Tellier’s brilliance and tenacity taught me to always move forward. Zakia McKensey’s wit and humor taught me to not take myself so seriously. Jihad Abdulmumit’s thoughtfulness and activist nature taught me to always fight the good fight. Frances Wake’s dedication and perseverance taught me to be humble. Edward Lee Peter’s relaxed good nature taught me to not take the world too seriously. Cristina Kincaid’s clarity and vision taught me to keep my eyes on the prize. Deshun Defreitas’ exuberance and passion taught me to find joy in all things. Keri Abrams’ subtle gravitas and willingness to learn taught me to face my headwinds. Without them, I would be a lesser person.
I must also acknowledge Karen Legato and Rich Bodemann, whose kindness, caring and support have helped make the transition gentle and sweet. Thank you both. Your graciousness will always be remembered by me and has greatly moved me.
Thank you to GAYRVA.COM for your kindness and thank you to those who have read. Blessed Be!
Shawn Patrick McNulty, Director of Health Outreach for Fan Free Clinic, has worked in HIV/AIDS Education and Prevention for more than twelve years. Born in Hampton, Virginia in 1975, Shawn ventured to Richmond in 1993 to come to VCU. After a service learning course he took on campus in 1994, he dreamed that one day he might have the opportunity to work for a place as amazing as Fan Free Clinic. More than twelve years since that dream became a reality Shawn has determined that it is time to move on, but not without first paying homage to the place that has been his “home away from home,” for so long.
“We are marching forward, leaning in, charging forward because we take seriously the importance of helping people restore their health”June 24, 2016
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