A long line of patients snaked around the block waiting to see one of the dentists and hygienists who were providing free dental care at the Sandy Seventh-day Adventist Church on Sunday, October 6.
“What a special and unique service that is so needed here in Sandy and the surrounding communities,” said Sandy mayor, Stan Pulliam. “As I look out and see the children and seniors and the diversity of everyone here, it just fills my heart with gratitude for everything that everyone did today.”
The dental hygienists were especially busy this year, cleaning teeth of people who came for heavier dental work at last year’s clinic. “It makes us feel good,” one of the dentists said, “to know our work is effective in giving people better health.”
Most of the patients came from Sandy and the surrounding communities, but a few folks came in from Portland and Estacada. They were cared for by more than 80 volunteers from across Oregon. The volunteers helped triage the patients, took blood pressure readings, screened for diabetes, provided an intensive life-style education course, and cared for everyone’s needs throughout the day.
As you might guess, a free clinic is an expensive endeavor. In Sandy the costs were covered by the Sandy church along with a variety of local businesses including Safeway, Fred Meyer, and two local bakeries.
Equipment for the clinic was provided by Caring Hands Worldwide, an Oregon-based NGO that facilitates free dental services around the Northwest and the world. “We love doing these clinics,” says director Randy Meyer, “especially because they give church members opportunities to build friendly relationships with many needy people in their community.”
(Learn more about Caring Hands at https://caringhandsworldwide.org/.)
“This experience exceeded all of our goals,” say clinic co-directors Tami and John Beaty, “and we encourage other churches to join us in the adventure.