MADISON COUNTY, Ala (WHNT) - Volunteers and staff members are getting familiar with their new digs at a brand new clinic designed to serve children in Madison County who need it most.
The new HEALS, Inc. dental and optometry clinic, is set up next to Madison Crossroads Elementary School.
Volunteers, staff, community leaders and supporters cut the ribbon on the clinic Thursday morning. It took a year to get here.
From a groundbreaking on August 22, 2013, in front of an old trailer to what construction crews envisioned and made happen, Thursday was an emotional day.
"This job was really important to me," said Micah Bullard of Turner Construction Company, as he held back tears. "I know a lot of kids who don't have it and I wanted to do it for them."
"We're calling it the miracle clinic because of all the gifts that were given to make this happen," said Connie Carnes, HEALS, Inc. Executive Director.
The new dental and optometry clinic was put together for the non-profit group HEALS, Inc. and coming in addition to a medical clinic already there serving children.
"This clinic is designed to serve the children of Madison Crossroads Elementary School. There's 1,100 children at the school and 58 to 80 percent live in poverty," said Carnes. "This is going to be a one-stop place for kids that would not have access to medical, dental and optometry care."
She said HEALS, Inc. started out with a $30,000 budget.
The clinic is valued at more than $200,000 all donated and HEALS kept most of their original $30,000.
They're waiting on more equipment to arrive before they bring in physicians to start treating children. But staff promises that will be very soon.
This is the sixth clinic HEALS, Inc. has set up to provide medical treatment to children whose parents can't afford it. This is the first clinic to offer optometry services.
The idea is if children are healthy, they can concentrate on their schoolwork, make good grades and become successful contributing members of society.