Dress for Success Houston’s Dental Dream Day
Smile Generation®-Trusted Clinicians Provide A Helping Hand To Dress For Success
On Saturday May 16, 2015, I, alongside some amazing Smile Generation-trusted clinicians and team members, provided donated dentistry—which included cleaning, fillings, oral surgery, and CEREC® crowns—to 80 local women through the PDS Serve Foundation™ and Dress For Success (DFS) Houston. This was my first opportunity to work with DFS and the PDS Serve Foundation on their Mobile Dental Clinic.
The day started early at 6 AM getting set up and ready for our first patients at 7:30. The ladies began arriving and everyone sprang into action. Each person had her own story about why they were there, why they were seeking help, and what their dental goals were for the day. They ranged widely in age and circumstance, but were all alike in their appreciation of our service. More than one said, “I cannot believe y’all are giving up your Saturday to come help us!”
One patient stood out, however. She is a substitute high school teacher who needed scaling and root planing, and a crown. When I asked how I could be of service, tears immediately began falling down her face. Overwhelmed with joy and appreciation, she hugged me before even answering my question. In fact, everyone on the bus got a hug, along with multiple selfies with her!
What she said then will stay with me forever. “When I got the email about y’all coming here, I thought it was a trick. I could not imagine why anyone would want to help me for free. Honestly, I have been in a very dark place lately, and I have been considering ending my life because I could not see any reason to go on. But after today, my hope has been renewed—y’all did that for me.”
There were no words I could say at that moment. I never imagined a simple act of charity and personal sacrifice of my time could impact another person’s life to that magnitude. She gave me another big hug after seeing her new crown, cried a little more, and thanked us over and over.
It’s moments like this that make getting up early on a Saturday morning and giving my time and services to others in need meaningful and worth more than any dollar amount. We all worked hard, but were all blessed by what we received back from these ladies, as well.
Dress for Success is a global not-for-profit organization that promotes the economic independence of disadvantaged women by providing professional attire, a network of support and the career development tools to help women thrive in work and in life. Since starting operations in 1997, Dress for Success has expanded to more than 140 cities in 19 countries and has helped more than 850,000 women work towards self-sufficiency.
The PDS Serve Foundation works to positively enhance the lives of our employees and their families, affiliated clinicians, their patients, and their families through the services provided, and by providing opportunities to participate in the act of service itself. Our mission is to serve communities by facilitating improvements to oral healthcare, and to help the PDS® family enjoy more successful relationships, marriages and families.