March 2017 Volume LII Number 2
Doing good is a simple and universal vision. A vision that each and every one of us can connect to and contribute to. It is the realization that each of us have that giving gene waiting to be expressed.
For us it’s a vision based on the belief that our career in pediatric dentistry calls us to be the leaders and advocates of dental care for all children. Not all children can come to us—sometimes WE must go to them. Think of those summer days as a kid, skimming rocks and the ripples that went on seemingly forever. Now imagine all the ripples that each of our 10,000 members initiate everyday in charitable acts. The free care for the family who lost their dad, the school out- reach program, international efforts for the worlds most impover- ished areas and the emergency response to those always unfortunate disasters—it goes on and on.
Some of the kids have walked a mile or more to see us; some have waited in lines for a good part of the day to see us; and some have pain that would be difficult for even an adult to endure. For others it is the third foster care family they have been a part of and a sense that no one cares. No matter what their story is, each of these children deserves to be pain and infection free. It is in situa- tions like these when our members show their biggest hearts.
Eighty-one percent of AAPD members reported providing some type of pro bono care last year within our country alone. If we included the many other members who run or participated in in- ternational volunteer programs, I suspect it will be much higher. In perspective and by comparison, the independent sector reports 26 percent of U.S. adults volunteered in some capacity last year. AAPD members exceed that level of giving by threefold.
AAPD members develop these partnerships in oral health through their own generosity as well as contributions from private and public benefactors. In fact, development of sustainable, effec- tive and culturally sensitive models for oral health—ensuring every child has a Dental Home—is a goal of our foundation Healthy Smiles, Healthy Children (HSHC). Since 2010, HSHC has issued more than $4 million in grants and commitments to 81 organiza- tions in 29 states and the District of Columbia. HSHC grantees have helped provide Dental Homes to more than 300,000 children. Your gift today, at http://www.healthysmileshealthychildren.org, will help children in need.
It is true, so very true—we always get more back than we give. As pediatric dentists, we are fortunate and grateful to have that opportunity.
"What we have done for ourselves alone dies with us; what we have done for others and the world remains and is immortal."
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