Wednesday, August 13, 2014

We need You! Dentist or not, we’re going to need a lot of volunteers to provide $1,000,000 in pro bono dental care September 4 and 5!

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Guest Post by Allysha Sneed

It’s a Tuesday afternoon and Dr. Tris Kruger, a dentist and two-time volunteer for the Mid-MD Mission of Mercy, is picking up his phone for the tenth time today, reaching out to colleagues for assistance in a mission he loves dearly.
 

“Hello and good afternoon. I am calling to find out if you would be willing to help with a free dental clinic we are hosting on September 5 and 6 at the Comcast Center in College Park, MD,” said Dr. Kruger. “I, along with a host of my colleagues, will be serving patients who are uninsured or are otherwise unable to afford dental services and we would love your help.” 
Volunteers and staff held a phone-a-thon to recruit local dentists to
volunteer at the upcoming free dental clinic.
 
One by one dental professionals throughout Maryland responded by saying yes to volunteering at this year’s Mid-MD Mission of Mercy (MOM) free dental clinic. Mid-MD MOM is a free two-day dental clinic periodically provided by volunteer dental professionals on a mission to enhance the oral health of adults in need.  The MOM service model first began in Virginia in 2000 and has since spread around the county affecting the lives of patients and dentists alike. 


In order to meet this year’s goal of providing over a million dollars of free dental care, over 800 volunteers are needed. Hundreds of professional and non-professional volunteers will be providing adult patients with services such as cleanings, fillings, root canals, and extractions, using 188 chairs spread across the Comcast Center.  Volunteers are asked to serve during one of two twelve hour shifts from 6:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. September 4-6.




“Without volunteers this event wouldn’t even be possible. For me volunteering is all about giving back to the community, especially for those of us that are able to give back using our professions- it’s so easy and so worth it,” said Dr. Kruger. “There is no better feeling than helping a patient and afterwards having them crying with appreciation because they were taken care of. Honestly, I get more out of it than the patients do.”

Catholic Charities’ Parish and School Program Manager Deacon James Nalls, is in charge of organizing and running the event. 


“Dental care is under supported in our culture and as a result the vast amounts of adults ages 18 to 65 are neglecting their teeth,” said Nalls. “This is why this event is so important. It’s a step toward increasing the overall health of adults throughout Maryland.”


For more information on how you can become one of the 800 volunteers needed to help make the Mid-MD MOM on September 4-6 a success (whether or not you are a dentist) or to donate supplies such as food, beverages, paper products, or printing supplies for the event, please contact volunteer coordinator Maggie O’Neill at midmdmom@gmail.com / (202) 772-1234. 


The following volunteers are needed:

·       Dentists (students welcome)

·       Hygienists (students welcome)

·       General volunteers (patient and volunteer check in/out, hospitality)

·       Set up and break down (Thursday and Saturday evening)

·       IT support

·       Translators 


If interested in becoming a corporate partner of Mid-MD MOM, please contact Deacon James Nalls at James.Nalls@catholiccharitiesdc.org.