Charitable Pharmacy: A Life-Changing Gift

“When you do the right thing, good things happen; whether you intend it or not, the fruits of your labor are always recognized in one way or another,” said Mike Jennings.

Mike didn’t know his years of caring for Ann Buenger as her physician would leave such a lasting impact. It was through those years that he came to know her and she came to know him.

Years later, after both Ann and her husband Clem passed, their support of the community continued. With no children, she and Clem created the Clement and Ann Buenger Foundation, which now supports a number of causes.

One cause the foundation chose to fund was a shock to Mike. “The Buenger Foundation decided to make a large donation, $100,000, to help open the Western Hills Charitable Pharmacy,” Mike said. The donation was made in Mike’s honor. As president of the St. Vincent de Paul Charitable Pharmacy Board, Mike was thrilled by the donation.

“I almost fell out of my chair when I heard that that gift had been made,” he said. “I was very honored and, you know, humbled.” The foundation’s gift in 2015 and the generous support of others made it possible to begin construction of a second charitable pharmacy. In February, 2016, the second St. Vincent de Paul charitable pharmacy location opened in Western Hills. 

Having charitable pharmacy services inside a thrift store increases access to life-saving medications and serves as a model for future operations in other stores. 

Hailing from the west side himself, Mike was particularly glad to know the pharmacy would benefit his old neighborhood.

 “The need is almost unmeasurable,” Mike said. “The need of the people on the west side of Cincinnati will far outstrip our capabilities but we’ll keep trying as hard as we can and do the best that we can for as many as we can.”

The Charitable Pharmacy first opened at the Liz Carter Outreach Center in 2006. Almost ten years later and thanks to the generosity of many, a second location inside the Western Hills Thrift Store is possible.