High Point Hosts Free OTC Medicine Giveaway Day

HIGH POINT -- Thousands of people struggling with allergies and colds, along with finances, had a chance to get the medication they need for free Friday in High Point.

Area organizations, churches, High Point University and NC MedAssist teamed up to help folks in need get over-the-counter medicine.

For many people it's a much-needed service. Organizers say in Guilford County alone, 33,000 people live below the poverty level and don't qualify for insurance.

"Even with insurance, people simply can't afford those staple items that you find in your medicine cabinet every day; the cough and cold, the allergy medicine, children's medicine, first aid, so we are here to provide that," said Kristin Young with NC MedAssist.  

This year, organizers have enough medicine to help roughly 2,000 people.

"Anyone can show up and get this medication,” said Young. “You get to pick 10 different items, that's over $100 worth of OTC medication."

Jamestown resident Hattie Ingram picked up some more vitamins. 

"For me, I am on a fixed income, so this was a blessing. And it helped saved me some money on my vitamins because I still have some from last year," said Ingram.  

This year, on top of getting the 10 OTC items, participants could also get three miscellaneous things like eye glasses or first aid items like band aids.

"That's great because when you are going to the store to buy these items they are so expensive,” said Ingram.  

Organizers have seen a bigger turn out year-after-year.

"They are choosing between putting food on their table or buying that medicine for their family,” said Young. “Our ultimate goal is to fill those in need, their medicine cabinet."

Last year, NC MedAssist distributed nearly $2 million in donated OTC medication to North Carolinians and clinic partners. This year, the organization plans to distribute more than that.