Helping Hero Spotlight - Clayton

  • Clayton Mowrer (COM ’15)

    City Union Mission

    About the organization: City Union Mission provides services for homeless men, women and children, including emergency shelter, medical care, addiction recovery, life skills classes and more. Click here to visit the City Union Mission website for information on how to volunteer. 

    Clayton Helping Heroes(Clayton Mowrer, pictured center)
    How did you first get started volunteering for City Union Mission?

    I personally got involved with City Union Mission this summer through the CMDA (Christian Medical and Dental Association) student chapter. CMDA has been working with City Union Mission for several years to provide health screenings and physicals, and it has become a fantastic experience that has been maintained every year.

    Why do enjoy volunteering for this particular organization?

    City Union Mission has had a tremendous impact on the Kansas City community. The work that they do affects a great deal of people and provides opportunities and benefits for individuals and families who are otherwise struggling. To be able to work with such an organization is a privilege, and it allows me to utilize my talents in the community to help those who need it most.

    Why is it important for people (or, specifically, medical students) to get involved and give something back to the community?
    There is a certain social responsibility inherent in medicine. If we are going to practice medicine, we cannot ignore the disparity of care, particularly in the community we are directly immersed in. There is so much we can offer, and there are so many that are in need. To neglect the needs of the people around us is to turn our heads from the purpose of being a physician.

    How does it make you feel to be able to help out?
    When I help with an organization such as City Union Mission, I am extremely joyful that I have been given a chance to do something that impacts our community in such a great way. It's such an incredible feeling to know that I am helping provide something to people who would otherwise have no way of obtaining it. It's the absolute best feeling in world.

    How do you know you have truly made a difference?
    The smiles on the children's faces and the gratitude from their parents. For a lot of the kids, this is the only "doctor visit" they get all year.

    Can you share one of your favorite volunteering experiences? What makes that situation stand out as memorable?
    There's not really one event in particular, to be honest. There is one consistent thing, however, that I can't help but laugh every time it occurs. The kids LOVE all of our equipment, and are constantly wanting to play with it, listen to their hearts, test their own reflexes and look up my nose; I get a kick out of it every time.

    What has volunteering taught you? What have you learned about yourself and/or others?
    The time I spend with City Union Mission has really humbled me. Though I have the knowledge that there are many who are struggling financially (and therefore, medically), the truth of the situation hits me over the head as I begin talking with them and hearing their stories. The realization of how broken some people are, and that I have some ability to reach into their lives and help in whatever miniscule way I can, is not something I take lightly; rather, it drives me to be a better student/future physician and a better person so that I might, in the future, offer something more.

    How can others get involved in outreach efforts with City Union Mission?
    CMDA provides outreach to City Union Mission all throughout the year, and we're always looking for help. The best way to get plugged in would be to send me an email and let me know. Usually, once the summer is over and the semester begins, the outreach takes the form of monthly opportunities. Over this next year, we plan on opening up more opportunities with both City Union Mission and other similar organizations around town. It's going to be a fantastic year!