I have something special for you today: Bonny Glen’s first-ever guest post. Our good friend Dan Tapper worked at a rather amazing charity event last weekend, and when he related the story to us, I asked if he would share it here. Thanks, Dan.
Making a Difference, One Smile at a Time
by Dan Tapper
They came from as far away as Georgia, and as nearby as down the street. Different colors, different ages, different backgrounds. Some were college students and many were elderly on fixed incomes, though the majority qualified to be categorized as “working poor.” This is the group that used to be known as the working class in America. No more.
They all came to a bright, new college campus in Danbury, Connecticut – the richest state in the richest country in the world. They came by the hundreds in lines that stretched longer than football fields. They came for one reason and one reason only – to get free dental care. It was something they otherwise couldn’t afford.
They all came in need, and they all left with a smile. A healthier, more hopeful smile.
This past weekend, more than 2,000 people were treated as dental patients at the 5th Annual Connecticut Mission of Mercy, a free clinic that has been offered annually in Connecticut since 2008. America’s Mission of Mercy is a national project designed to provide essential emergency dental services for those who need them and can’t afford them, and also to raise awareness of the dental health crisis that exists in America. The first Mission of Mercy was held in rural Virginia in 2000 – in 2008, Connecticut became the 7th state to hold one. By the end of 2012, 23 different states will hold their own Missions of Mercy.
The name says it all – relieving people of dental pain is the epitome of a mission of mercy. Dental pain can ruin your day, can cause you to lose sleep, can destroy your mood and can make you not want to get out of bed in the morning. Dental distress can lead to greater health problems – poor dental health has been firmly linked to diabetes, heart disease and low birth weight babies. Dental health is medical health, period. (more…)