“I can’t thank you enough for such an outstanding ‘Day of Giving’!” wrote Dr. Shorouq Sahawneh, Lead Dentist, Costa Mesa, Calif., & PC President/Director of Clinical Care (DCC) for Southern California. “The flow of energy was amazing and everybody had a tremendous part in making the day successful. Seeing the smiles on those patients’ faces, and feeling how grateful they were, made the whole experience worthwhile. You definitely made a huge difference in those patients’ lives, one smile at a time.”
“Being able to provide dental care is a unique talent for which I’m grateful,” explains Dr. Stanley Hong, Lead Dentist at the Parkway office in Temecula, Calif., and DCC, San Diego. “This gift enables us to help many people who otherwise would have little or no access to care.”
Drs. Hong and Sahawneh were among eight providers and 25 total volunteers at the Southern California Day of Giving held last fall at the Bright Now!® Dental office at Bristol & 17th Street in Santa Ana, Calif.
Giving Time to Improve Smiles
By partnering with three local social services agencies – Kidworks, Latino Health Access and Orange County Conservation Corps – the dentists and hygienists, with help from dental assistants and support staff from 14 affiliated dental offices plus Field and Business Support – treated 72 patients over eight hours on Sunday, October 4, 2015.
No wonder the most frequent comment from the patients when their treatment was over was, “¡Muchísimas gracias! (Many thanks!)”. Here are a few of the many heartfelt comments from patients that day:
“It was very nice of the doctors and everyone else to donate their time to help people in the community.”
“I’m so grateful for the help. I’m out of work and can’t afford to go to the dentist.”
“It is so wonderful for these volunteers to give up their day off to come and provide treatment for people who need it but can’t afford it.”
“Time is gold. I appreciate all of these people donating their time – gracias!”
Moments that Made Volunteers Smile
Like most volunteers, this group learned that helping others can be its own reward.
“Getting patients out of pain makes me smile. It’s a blessing,” said Esmeralda Lopez, RDA at the Costa Mesa office.
“A mother who had two teeth extracted wanted to keep them to show her son what happens when you don’t take care of your teeth,” recalled Dr. Julia Fosman who practices at Temecula-Parkway and other San Diego market offices.
“One patient I treated complimented me on how quick and pain-free the procedure was,” notes Dr. Hong. “He really appreciated that I took time away from my family to help him.”
“One patient gave me a huge hug because I got her out of pain,” adds Dr. Sahawneh. “That just melted my heart.”