Domestic Alternatives to International Mission Trips

September 30, 2020

With international travel on hold, mission trips have halted for the time being. Take advantage of the time spent at your practice to get in touch with the surrounding community. Contributing to local causes and helping people in the area will help establish the reputation of your practice.

According to a New York Times article written in early July, 5.4 million American workers have been stripped of health insurance as a result of coronavirus job loss. A staggering 27 million Americans (including workers and family members) are without coverage for the time being (Kaiser Family Foundation). There is no better time than now to find opportunities to give back to your local community.

Here are some great ways to get involved without leaving the practice:

  • Pro bono: Spend a day offering patients pro bono treatments. If this is too much for your practice, choose one or two patient cases to execute pro bono. Care can be a huge relief for patients who are opting not to visit the dentist due to high prices and lack of insurance.
  • Offer free or reduced care to veterans.
  • Donate: If you are not able to give your time, open your wallet. Foundations like Global Smile Foundation use donations to provide comprehensive cleft care for patients born with cleft lip and palate in underserved communities throughout the world. Their most recent initiative is calling for donations to support Beirut following the explosions leaving more than 300,000 homeless.
  • Scholarships: The American Dental Education Association estimates the average debt per dental school graduate in 2019 was $292,159. The fear of debt can deter students from pursuing a career path in dentistry. Some dental schools that allow for easy donations are Howard University, New York University, and more. Find the school that most resonates with you and your budget. Give hope to the next generation of dentists.

Kindness and can go a long way, particularly during a time when so many in the United States are in need. Big or small, your donation of time or money can go a long way Рmaybe even change someone’s life for the better.