By LISA SIMPSON STRANGE
Glasgow Daily Times
The theme of this year’s Glasgow Christmas Parade on Saturday night is the “Gift of Giving” and organizers of the event appropriately chose a man who exemplifies the ideal of giving to others.
Helping people in need in the community is something Dr. Bharat Mody, a local surgeon, has being doing for many years.
Mody and his wife, Bharati, and their family moved to Glasgow in 1979.
By the late 1990s, Mody had become involved with Habitat for Humanity, a non-profit agency that builds affordable housing for those in need using volunteer labor and donated materials.
He helped launch Community Medical Care in 2002, which assists low-income, working uninsured adults by providing health care, prescription medication, emergency dental, optometric and hospital care and also assists low-income seniors with prescriptions, glasses and hearing aids.
Mody also helps with Habitat ReStore on West Main Street, a fundraising entity for Habitat for Humanity and MedShare, an international nonprofit organization that works to improve health care through the redistribution of surplus medical supplies and equipment.
He volunteers for a free Surgery on Sunday program in Lexington. He also arranges eye camps each year in his native India and has helped build several schools there as well.
In August of 2009, he worked to get the “To the Brim” food drive off the ground locally in conjunction with Community Relief and the Salvation Army.
Community Medical Care relocated to its current location in the previous Glasgow Recreation Department building on the southwest corner of the square adjacent to Beulah C. Nunn Park a year ago. People go to the facility to sign up for help with medical care, which is partially provided through a residency program at T.J. Samson Community Hospital.
Marlon Hatcher was talking with CMC workers at the center on Thursday afternoon about getting health care help. His wife had previously used the program’s services and Hatcher, who has heart problems, said he needed help as well.
“Health insurance is so expensive and at my job they don’t offer any kind of insurance at all,” he said. “These nice people are going to provide a way for me to get my glasses and my medication.”
Tina Combs, manager of Community Medical Care, said Mody was the perfect choice to lead this year’s parade with its giving theme.
“I think if anyone deserves to be honored by being grand marshal, it’s him,” Combs said.
Donna Rich, one of the committee members who picked Mody, said the decision was an easy one to make.
“We basically talked about Christmas and its true meaning – what Christmas means and getting back to that. With the theme of the gift of giving and all he does for the community, his name came up pretty quickly. Everyone was in agreement,” Rich said.
Mody credits his parents with instilling his philosophy of helping others and he continues to look for other ways to give back. He is also grateful to members of the community who have continued to be supportive of his causes.
“The entire community has stood behind all the programs I’m involved in,” he said.
Mody’s greatest focus is now becoming the local food drives.
“More needs to be done. I think Community Medical Care is set where we want it to be. The food drive is young. I still feel, looking at the national numbers, that we have more seniors and school-age children who are still going hungry,” he said. “We have to take more responsibility and get more involved, do more in our own community.”
Mody arranged for a new sign to be affixed to the side of the CMC building Thursday thanking community members for their support of the different programs in which he is involved. He said he wanted to make sure it was up before the parade on Saturday.