Sunday, November 30, 2008

Giving it away

I had an awesome weekend.
The Gators are one win away from the National Chomp...ionship. One small problem... ALABAMA.
I can't tell you how hard I have tried to get tickets to this game. With absolutely no luck. Apparently, I don't know anyone with any sort of power (that includes all of you).
But the Gators look so good and right now I am on cloud nine.
One more thing, I am almost a lock for a ticket to the National Championship game in Miami.
My friend is able to get tickets, so if we go, I am going. Man this is exciting. I can't even contain myself.

We had a great Thanksgiving. As you may know I come from a big family (I have 4 brothers and sisters). Getting together is always exciting. But everything went great. We enjoyed each others company and had a wonderful time. We even went around the table and told each other what we are thankful for.
My mother was not able to be there so she wrote a two page letter that I read when it was her turn.
I fried my first turkey and it came out pretty good, if I don't say so my damn self. (see photo below,this is my frier)
My wife is an exceptional cook and makes the best sweet potato casserole and pecan pie.
All of her stuff went straight to my badonk-a-donk.

Okay today I want to talk to you about giving it away.
I am talking about dentistry.
As you may know I am a give it away kind of guy.
I have made it known to most people that if they have a friend or a friend of a friend that is having a tooth problem and doesn't have the money to pay for it...I am the one to turn to.
As you can see that there are many problems with my philosophy.

First of all, there is so much need I can't do it all.
Now that the word is out, alot of people are coming to me.
There are a lot more problems and I will get to this but let me give you an example.

I was walking out of church a couple of weeks ago and my pastor is talking to a visiting pastor (now this guy is my pastor's friend. He has his own church but he was just visiting). I walked by and said goodbye.
My pastor is always joking about me being a dentist. He says as I am walking away, "If you ever need a dentist, there is your man."
The wife of the pastor says, "Oh my gosh, we need a dentist to help us." I thought she was kidding and I said while walking away, "I am your man, just call me."
Turns out she really needed a dentist. My pastor called me and told me they have a need.
Here it is...
They have a 20 year old autistic kid, Aaron. There is a program called Best Buddies. I don't know if it is a national organization or not but it is here in Orlando and it is a program like Big Brother, Big Sister but with special needs kids.
The one that volunteered to be Best Buddies with their son is K. K is this 18 year old girl from some Latin American country. Her parents came over on some visa 20 years ago. She and her brother were born here. They are American citizens but their parents aren't. So the parents had to go home. She has lived here with her older brother for the last 8 years without their parents. She is working her way through community college, with no more help from her folks, and in her spare time volunteering at Best Buddies.
Now she has gotten to know the parents of Aaron. And they have come to find out her story and one of the finer points of the story is that her teeth are hurting her and she can't afford to go to the dentist.
Now to me this sounds like and exceptional individual, much deserving of a break.

But lets take a step back here.
The pastor, I don't even know this guy. Okay so he has his own church, are there not any dentists in his congregation. Okay if there isn' about his personal dentist.
No, lets just ask a perfect stranger.
Remember, I have a philosophy of helping people but this philosophy doesn't really have any rules.
What do I say, "No, I won't help a very deserving person in pain"?
Okay, I will see her. I tell her people to tell her to call me. I talk to K.
After I told her that I am looking forward to helping her she started to cry. She said, "thank you" a hundred times.
So she goes on to tell me that she had a couple of fillings done and the doctor that did the others said she had more cavities to have filled.
I asked her if the cavities hurt of the fillings hurt. She said both.

So I will end here.
But I will leave you with a couple more questions.
What do I do?
Do I do all the fillings?
What if she needs a root canal?
Do I give a cleaning first and a full series of x-rays?
I mean we are talking anywhere from $200-$4000.

Lets talk about this again on Wednesday,
ps I usually do a spell check at the end of a blog, so I don't look like an idiot (okay more of an idiot) and this was the first time there were no spelling mistakes. An early Christmas present.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

How many days a year do you just open your doors to people who cannot afford to pay? I mean, there is only so much time that you can donate your services. You also have to make a living. Why can't she come during one of those days? Anyway, I really admire what you are doing and you have inspired me to take one week off per year and volunteer my services to the poor. I am starting in 2009. I will be volunteering in Jerusalem at a welfare clinic. Jews and Palestinians are both served there. You can check it out by googling Dental Volunteers in Israel. They also have a video running on You tube. But I really can't afford to give my services away to everybody that can't pay. I won't be in business very long.

Good luck, Gord


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