The staff Verber Family Dentistry was thrilled by the opportunity to donate our time and skills at The Mission of Mercy. Since this was our first year volunteering at the Mission, we weren’t entirely sure what to expect, but we were excited by the chance to participate in this great cause. It turned out to be a truly successful, fulfilling experience for everyone involved.
The Mission of Mercy is a pop-up dental clinic that provides free care to patients in need. While Mission of Mercy visits a different location in Pennsylvania each year, we had the benefit of hosting this year’s event in our own region. The Pennsylvania Farm Show Complex in Harrisburg proved to be an excellent facility for the two-day event, accommodating 1,800 patients between May 31st and June 1st.
Our team actually set the record for the most staff members from a single office! 23 of Verber Dental’s doctors, EFDAs, hygienists, treatment coordinators and administrators volunteered at the event. In a single morning, our team saw over 125 patients and donated $23,000 worth of dentistry.
Our staff members glowed as they reflected on their most remarkable experiences from the event. “Getting up at 4:30am to be there at 5:30 was a bit difficult, but hearing the patient’s stories and knowing that we were able to help them made the early morning well worth it!” reported Kendra, who utilized her dental assisting skills to take dozens of x-rays on patients throughout the day.
Our dental assistant Karla enthused that she loved her position as a Patient Ambassador, escorting patients to various treatment stations. “I would lead them to the right place depending on whether they needed a dental cleaning, extraction, root canal, etc. It was rewarding to ensure that patients were where they needed to be to receive care.”
Alyssa, a treatment coordinator for Verber Dental, worked at the patient check-in at the Mission. “I got a big hug from a patient who was so appreciative that I, a young person, would give up my time on a Saturday to volunteer at this event. It was amazing to feel this patient’s appreciation, and to know that I was able to make dental treatment possible for her.”
Our Hygienist Maria was touched when her first patient of the morning described how she had waited in line for hours prior to the clinic opening. There were even patients who had been waiting in line overnight! “It was definitely a humbling and rewarding experience!” she shared.
“It felt great to help. I loved working with so many doctors, staff and patients. I want to volunteer for the Mission every year!” Said Christy, a treatment coordinator at Verber Dental. She went on to share her most heart-wrenching experience of the day, helping a young child in desperate need of care. “I was happy to have a part in seeing that this child’s needs were taken care of.”
The Mission was a very eye-opening experience for all of us. “It was amazing to see the level of need present in our own community” said hygienist Kim. Our clinical coordinator, Melinda, went on to describe the radiating level of gratitude. “It was an awesome day! It was exhausting, but the hugs, tears, and smiles from the patients made it well worth it.”
Becky, our practice administrator, received wonderful comments of appreciation from patients as they stopped by the clinic’s exit interview station. “I was especially thankful for the event when a young toddler came through with a STAT referral to the ER due to a major abscess. It was heartbreaking to see him in that condition, but I was so glad that this program was offered and he was able to be seen and sent in the right direction.”
The staff of Verber Family Dentistry is in whole-hearted agreement that our day spent at the Mission of Mercy was an incredibly rewarding experience. We were honored by the opportunity to work among hundreds of other dental professionals driven by common goals of compassion and care. Over the two-day event, over 1,000 individuals volunteered together to perform over 6,000 procedures, totaling $884,598 in donated dentistry.