Founded in 1979, Lestonnac Free Clinic started with two rooms. Today, they have 14 locations, including one on East Chapman Avenue. With the help of countless volunteer care providers, Lestonnac provides free medical, dental, eye care, specialty care and more to indigent and uninsured Southern California residents.
"Our mantra is 'a hand up rather than a handout.' Regardless of your ability to pay, you're treated with dignity and respect. Many people are just down on their luck," says Ashley Spindler, Director of Development.
Lestonnac relies completely on volunteers. The Orange location alone currently boasts 172 medical providers, 63 dental providers and 315 student volunteers. With hard work, these volunteers are able to help Orange residents, who wouldn't be able to afford care otherwise.
Last year, a waiter at a local restaurant the staff frequents, visited the clinic. Troubled by his eyesight but unable to afford typical eye care, he got the help he needed at Lestonnac. Within two days, he had a prescription and two pairs of glasses for $100. "He was so grateful and so excited," saya Roseann Peters, Program Manager. "No one had ever gone out of their way to help him before."
In addition to the clinic services, Lestonnac provides community referrals and health education programs. They don't rely on federal funding, but instead survive on donations, parternships and volunteers.
"The people we help are community members," says Spindler. "Every day, we're doing something to help make our community better, which makes our society better."
Click here to continue reading Old Towne Orange Plaza Review's November/December 2015 Magazine