TROY — Sue Jackson always has her phone on her, which isn’t too different from many other people in today’s day and age.
However, Jackson has her phone on her in order to help those in need in Troy and Concord Township.
Jackson is the director of the Troy Nursing Association and Troy Milk Fund, Inc. She shared that the organization has been serving Troy for almost 100 years, first operating as the Nursing Committee under the local American Red Cross chapter after World War I.
Public Health Nursing was rising in the country at that time, and Red Cross Nursing became a part of it. In November 1919, the committee hired the first public health nurse for Troy. Red Cross support and funds dwindled until 1923, when the Troy Community chest started to help the nursing service.
The Red Cross Nursing Committee became the Troy Public Health Nursing Association.
“Through the years that it’s changed, nursing started going to the homes and taking care of clients,” Jackson said. “That has phased out, but is now coming back in. Eventually, it came to the health department here in Troy.”
As a nonprofit, the Troy Nursing Association at Troy Milk Fund does not have an office, so Jackson was given a phone to carry so people in need could call her when they needed to.
“Basically, people call me with their needs and I return their calls within 24 hours because I also have a part-time job as a surgical nurse at Upper Valley,” she said.
Jackson said the organization helps provide medical and health assistance to residents of Troy and Concord Township who need emergency assistance. Using the example of a family experiencing financial hardship from job loss or a layoff, she said the family could go to the Department of Job and Family Services for assistance.
However, it takes between 30 to 60 days through Job and Family Services. Food vouchers come in immediately to help the family purchase a few weeks’ worth of food to hold them over.
“They have a $120 food voucher,” she explained. “I have sat down with dieticians to help me make a food voucher of fresh fruits and vegetables. It’s no taxables, no junk food. They can get a 10-pound chicken or turkey with that, they can get five pounds of hamburger. It’s a nice selection of foods.”
Milk vouchers are also an option for families in need. Currently, 42 families are on the milk program to get two gallons of two percent milk a week.
Jackson said most of the families who use the program are on welfare, although there may be a scenario where a single mother is struggling because she makes too much to receive food stamps but not enough to purchase food.
“Everybody’s life situation is different, and I take that into consideration,” she said.
The Troy Nursing Association also helps with prescriptions — with the exception of narcotic or psychotic drugs — for low-income individuals, medical supplies, mobility supplies, clinical counseling, medical transportation expenses, physician visits, medical testing and youth fitness camps.
“We help with some dental for elementary-schoolers in kindergarten and first grade with the dental hygiene program they put on,” she said. “We buy all the toothbrushes and toothpaste and floss for those kids.”
The organization has also helped Troy High School by purchasing medical supplies for handicapped students at the school.
Jackson invited any families in need of assistance to get in touch with her, adding that if the Troy Nursing Association could not help them, then the board would refer them to other organizations in the county.
“We’re here to help,” she said. “And we want to be able to help as much as we can.”
The number to get in touch with Jackson is (937) 623-1952. The organization is funded by Troy United Way, so those interested in helping the Troy Nursing Association keep going can make a donation to them through the United Way.
Reach Allison C. Gallagher at email@example.com or on Twitter @Troydailynews.