Trying to describe what Ann Arbor Community Acupuncture means to me is no easy task. Reflecting on what it has taken to get us here has made me realize AACA is our life's work: to provide an affordable effective tool for people to take care of themselves and of others. To think that I was lucky enough to find a partner who wanted to do the same was beyond my dream. To think that we could start a community clinic, support a community focused on wellness, AND make a living was unimaginable. On March 9, 2020, we celebrated our 5 year anniversary of the clinic's opening. On March 13, we closed our doors to keep our high-risk patients safe.
When Evan and I met in acupuncture school, we were inspired by our experiences with community acupuncture. Through our training, it slowly became apparent that though acupuncture is a great tool for treating pain, mental health, and a wide variety of symptoms, it was mostly inaccessible to anyone who couldn't afford to spend $80+ week after week. What's more, often you need it regularly for a long time in order to see it work for chronic issues. We didnt know that finding the People's Organization of Community Acupuncture coop (POCA) and using their resources and guidance would shape the course of our lives and help us help so many people in our community.
Over the course of these five years, we have given over 25,000 reduced cost acupuncture treatments as well as countless free treatments. We have hired amazing front desk staff and created another fulltime acupuncturist position in a field where those are hard to come by. We have helped people stay off medications, keep out of the emergency room, manage pain, stop smoking, get pregnant, and simply have a place to relax. We have witnessed people getting jobs, graduating, finishing their books, starting families, and beating cancer. We have shared people's pain when they lose a job or when cancer comes back and hugs when they lose a loved one. We have been here simply to care for those who are doing the hard work of caring for others .
And that's how we had built this thing . We were here for the long haul. We wanted Ann Arbor Community Acupuncture to last well beyond us so we made it into a 501(c)3 nonprofit. This way, no one owned it and it wouldn't just shut down if something happened to us. But we never considered planning for a pandemic. We tried to tap into all the resources we have available to us to make it through these last couple months. Now we're asking for some help from you. These funds would help us cover the cost of rent and insurance expenses until the end of our lease next year. Since we closed the clinic, we haven't been able to meet overhead expenses. If we are able to meet this goal, we are ensuring the ability to reopen the clinic when things are safe whether that is next month or next year. If you have had a good experience at the clinic, please consider donating. Any small amount helps. And please consider sharing our gofundme page with anyone who wants to support you if you've benefited from acupuncture here. We will send a receipt of donation since all donations are tax deductible.
Seeing some of you week after week has made us feel like you're extended family. Thank you for making all of this possible. Thank you for your loyal support. Thank you even for your part in helping us start our own family and raise two beautiful babies! We are forever humbled. Serving you is our great privilege.