Organizers are preparing for a second two-day event that offers free dental care, and are looking for volunteers to help. It’s called “Iowa Mission of Mercy” or I-MOM and the chair of the event, dentist Richard Hettinger of Sioux City, says you don’t have to know how to drill a cavity to get involved.
He says they need dental professionals, they also need lay volunteers for a variety of things from escorting people through to serving food to patients. “Just about anybody that wants to help somebody, we can find a place for you to work,” Hettinger says. He says all it takes is a little time.
Hettinger says they need far more lay volunteers who are not dental professionals than they do dental professionals. The last mission was in Waterloo last fall and there were over 1,200 people show up to take advantage of the care. Hettinger expects a similar turnout this time.
Hettinger says there are a lot of people who can’t pay for the care they need to have and this is a way for dental professionals to help the people who can’t get into a dental office. Hettinger says the first event helped a lot of people, and it left all those involved with a good feeling.
“This is very gratifying for those of us that participate in it,” Hettinger says, “one of the hallmarks of the event that we Waterloo last year was that everybody was smiling, didn’t matter whether you were one of the professionals that were actually giving the care, or you were one of the people bringing water to the people who working of food to the people who were being cared for. The workers were happy, the patients were extremely happy.”
The free dental care will be given Friday, September 25, and Saturday, September 26, at the Iowa Speedway in Newton. If you would like to volunteer, you can go to the mission website here.