December 5th is International Volunteer Day and we thought it would be fun to highlight different volunteer organizations that our team members contribute to in our community.
Rhonda and her husband volunteer with the Fort Wayne chapter of Sleep in Heavenly Peace. SHP utilizes groups of volunteers to build bunk beds and deliver them to children, who don’t currently have a bed, in the greater Fort Wayne area. On build days, you might be cutting, pre-drilling or sanding the pieces of wood, pre-assembling the head and footboards, or branding them with the SHP logo. Rhonda’s main responsibility is to vet the applicants and schedule the deliveries. During the deliveries they provide the children with complete beds including a mattress and bedding. They assemble the bunks and make the beds; it is so rewarding to see the happiness in their faces and to know that they won’t be sleeping on a couch or the floor that night.
For more information on Sleep in Heavenly Peace click here.
Robin volunteers with CASA of Kosciusko County. CASA stands for Court Appointed Special Advocate (for children). The CASA is a trained citizen who is appointed by a judge to represent the best interest of a child in court. They provide the judge with a carefully researched background of the child to help the court make a sound decision about that child’s future. Robin’s caring spirit makes her a perfect fit for being a CASA volunteer.
For more information visit CASA's website.
Marissa participates in Boomerang Backpack for Churubusco students K-12. Each month churches in her community send small snacks or meals home to students in need. It is packed once a week and the student takes the backpack home on Friday. Marissa said, "It gives the volunteers good fellowship time together!". She's grateful that our office has chosen to participate by donating toothbrushes, toothpaste and floss for the last couple of years.
For more information on Boomerang Backpack click here.
One of the organizations Dr. Aron has worked with for nearly his entire career is a Cleft Palate and Craniofacial Team/Clinic called “Kids First”.
The Kids First Clinic meets at both Parkview and Lutheran hospitals in Fort Wayne on alternating first Fridays of each month (unfortunately the team has not been able to meet during COVID). The clinic/team is comprised of various health professionals who will spend time diagnosing and advising treatment options for cleft palate individuals, and other patients who have structural/developmental issues involving the head and face. The consultations and services provided directly in this clinic are fully donated by the doctors and other healthcare professionals on the team. [There is a minimal hospital processing charge that is necessary for the hospitals to comply with insurance and to cover cleaning and disposable items used by the clinic.] The hospitals donate the space for the clinic and also donate the time of their nursing staff and others who serve the team.
Because the patients have multiple health needs the team is diverse in training and background. We have pediatric dentists, orthodontists, oral surgeons, and dental assistants working the dental aspects of these cases. Plastic surgeons perform the facial reconstructions, lip and nose surgeries, and palatal repairs. Ear nose and throat physicians treat the hearing problems, nasal, sinus, and airway issues. Dieticians assist with feeding issues of new born cleft babies and assist with nutritional concerns as the patients grow and mature. Speech pathologists also help with feeding issues and provide speech and language skill therapies to help the patients compensate for their structural challenges. There are also social workers who help families find ways to obtain services and other resources that are needed for the patients to achieve successful outcomes.
On clinic days, all of the various specialties perform their individual assessments for each patient. Then the team meets as a whole to discuss immediate and long term needs for those patients. This timely sharing of information between specialists and the ability to discuss details with one another allows us to prioritize and sequence the order of events that will provide the best outcome for our patients.
Various team members from our office volunteered with Mission of Mercy at their last event. Mission of Mercy (MoM) is a large scale dental clinic that provides dental care for people of all ages who otherwise wouldn't be able to afford it. The MoM clinics take place every 2 years and the most recent clinic took place in 2019 at the Allen County War Memorial Coliseum. Our team was able to use our unique talents/skills from completing restorations, helping create dental prosthetics and helping keep paperwork and patient flow organized.
For more information on Mission of Mercy click here.
Heather French Henry said, "Volunteering is at the very core of being a human. No one has made it through life without someone else's help.". We would love to hear about the organizations you volunteer with. Leave us a comment below or visit our Facebook page and leave a comment there.