WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The Mt. Calvary Center helped to sponsor a food giveaway this morning in Wilmington.

Items distributed to those in need included ham and other nutritional meal ingredients.

The event was held in the parking lot of Freedom Way Ministries, and gave away food all morning to a steady flow of cars.

Volunteer Eliza Mendez says there is always a need in the community for food, especially during a pandemic.

“Mount Calvary is here to help any and everybody in need,” New Hanover County representative Eliza Mendez said. “Just give us a call and we will come out and look for you and find you and give you the help that you need. Any type of resources that we can have and we can give you, we will come to help you out with.”

In addition to feeding the community, organizers also say they are trying to help as many people as possible get their COVID shots. They plan to hold a COVID-19 vaccination event next weekend.

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PENDER COUNTY (WWAY) — A medical facility in Pender County is going out of its way to provide good healthcare to a rural, diverse community.

There’s a reason San Martin Medical is named after the Catholic Church’s first black saint. Doctors, like Ricardo Valdivia say Saint Martin was a healer, and he wants to continue his mission.

“We want to give care to the community,” said Valdivia. “Black, white, brown, everybody, in the best manner we can. That’s why we expanded.”

Dr. Valdivia and his staff recently expanded their offices, hoping to help more people and provide more services. They’ve already started offering health education courses, specialist care, and will soon offer therapy dogs. Their goal is to provide a one-stop-shop of resources to patients like Maria Vallecillo, a patient of Valdivia’s for 18 years.

“If you go anywhere,” Vallecillo joked, “If you move to Peru, I’ll follow him to Peru.”

Maria Vallecillo brought her daughter to Valdivia when she was diagnosed with a skin condition called vitiligo. After meeting with specialists across the Cape Fear who didn’t speak the language, she says Valdivia was able to calm her fears, and get her daughter the help she needed.

“So now, she’s a beautiful girl,” Maria beamed. Valdivia nodded in agreement,”Mmhmmm, yes.”

Along with the new addition, San Martin Medical is partnering with Mt. Calvary Center for Leadership, a group dedicated to bettering the community, educating people in mostly rural areas.

Together, the two groups will provide an in-house social worker and immigration lawyer, hoping to gain the trust of immigrants in need of medical assistance, too afraid of hospitals to seek help.

“You’ve got a doctor like Dr. Valdivia who can speak the language, who can relate with you,” Mt. Calvary Center’s Jimmy Tate explained. “Who has the academic and medical and professional expertise and knowledge. He offers a wide range of services. From hypertension, diabetes, to cancer prevention.”

They’re keeping community members safe and healthy, in more ways than one.

“She says it’s very important for her to trust her doctor,” Valdivia said, as he translated for Vallecillo. “She puts her faith in God first, and then in me…. in my hands…. because so far, I’ve done the best for her.”

And like their patron saint, these healers at San Martin treat the doctor-patient bond as a sacred calling.

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405 US Hwy 117 South

Burgaw, NC 28425

414 North Norwood St

Wallace, NC 28466

PO Box 12811

Wilmington, NC 28405




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The Mt. Calvary Center for Leadership Development is a separate 501(c)(3) non-profit entity from Mt. Calvary University.