‘Helping Hearts’ program assists 150 area clients

February 4, 2013

in Local

By Randy Kirby
Managing editor

Pettis County Public Administrator Charli Ackerman is currently promoting the 10th annual “Helping Hearts” fund-raiser to assist her roughly 150 clients with unplanned expenses throughout the year.

“The Valentine’s theme seems appropriate, even though it started out at Christmas time originally,” Ackerman explained. “For the first two or three years, we did it at Christmas, and it was just hectic at Christmas, so we moved it to February with the same theme.”

Monetary donations are asked of individuals who want to help. There is always a huge need, many of these people are Medicaid recipients, some have mental disabilities or illnesses, some live in nursing homes with no remaining family; many don’t have anyone to make health care decisions for them, and many of them are just indigent,” she said, “and there’s just not a lot of extra money left for necessary things.”

Medicaid does not cover dental care, and that is a major issue with many of her clients, Ackerman noted. “And so many of them have very serious dental issues.”

Those clients who are living in apartments face high utility bills, some need new clothing and other essentials which they cannot afford. Some need durable medical equipment.

Relocating clients from one facility to another presents another cost, she explained. “I have people all over the state of Missouri, quite frankly, and moving them is an expense,” Ackerman said. “I can’t do it all myself, obviously. So I have people that will do it, some volunteer, but I usually have to pay for gas and mileage, and there’s no funds (in the clients’ accounts) to pay for that.”

To donate to the Helping Hearts fund, contact Ackerman at her office on the first floor of the Pettis County Courthouse, 415 South Ohio, Suite 104. Donations are accepted throughout the year and put to very good use. Receipts are available for all donations, she added.

“It’s basically a small pot of money that helps my clients,” she noted.

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