Recently I received a letter from Donated Dental Services (DDS), the parent organization for the Dental Lifeline Network in Pennsylvania. The purpose of the letter was to congratulate all of the volunteers who have worked with this organization since its inception in 1986. To date, DDS has provided more than $250 million in services to 120,000 people with disabilities or who are elderly or medically eligible in all 50 states.
There are many organizations that offer the opportunity to provide donated care to those in need. Some of those I have worked with over the years include:
- Rotaplast International – a Rotary International affiliated organization providing cleft lip and palate surgeries to disadvantaged children worldwide.
- The Ann Silverman Community Health Clinic – a Doylestown Hospital based program providing routine dental care to needy adults in the central Bucks area.
- Give Back a Smile – a program affiliated with the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry which restores the smiles of women victimized by domestic abuse.
- Mission of Mercy (MOM) in PA – Providing dental care to focused areas of need within Pennsylvania.
(Shown above: Dr. Stone poses with fellow volunteer at the MOM n PA clinic held at Temple University)
Some of the most rewarding experiences I have had as a dentist have been working with volunteer organizations. The need is enormous and the patients I have treated have been among the most appreciative I have met. There are many dental organizations that largely go unappreciated or are unknown to the general public. You can find an extensive list of them on the American Dental Association’s website.
Regardless of the type of work you do, there is always a need in today’s world for volunteer efforts. I would urge anyone to consider volunteering your time or talents in a way that suits you. You may just find that you too will experience how rewarding volunteering can be!