LOS ANGELES – Everybody didn’t just love Raymond. They fell in love with Patricia Heaton. And now America’s mom is paying it forward.
“I look for things that are important to me. I’m a mom and do want to help moms,” she said.
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Heaton is on the board of Claris Health, an organization dedicated to providing free and low-cost health care to people in need.
“We have two wonderful offices but not everyone has transportation to get there and to now serve 27 communities every single month is just phenomenal. I’m actually surprise there isn’t one like this in a city of Los Angeles and I’m proud to be the first,” she said.
She’s talking about their most recent initiative -- a mobile clinic going all over SoCal from Leimert Park to Vermont Harbor to South L.A. It’s a passion that was born from simply looking around the streets of L.A. where she lives, at all the families, all the moms wishing they could help their kids.
“We drive by so many homeless people you wish you could help,” she said.
We fell in love with Heaton in Everybody Loves Raymond, the show that made her a household name and got her two Emmys. With fame came a platform, and with that platform – she felt her calling.
This clinic offers pregnancy testing, early prenatal services, STD testing, general health screenings, and social service referrals to hard-to-reach communities of L.A.
“You need to do right in your own city too, you need to feel you are part of making this city great and people feel loved. The bible says to those that have been given much, much is expected and we’ve just been given a responsibility cause we’ve been blessed with good fortune, with gifts or talent and we have to take those gifts and share it with people less fortunate,” Heaton said.
How could we not love Heaton? Everybody loves someone who wants to change the world.
“We’re in a difficult time in our country politically and people can feel fearful, frustrated and depressed and I think the antidote for that is finding people who need your help and do something about it. And that’s what Claris does and that’s how I keep sane, is making sure I’m a part of the solution and not part of the problem," said Heaton.
"In L.A. we pay a lot of taxes and we want to see the effects of putting your money into the city. It doesn’t always happen. I like to be a part of something where I see results,” she said.