Tucson Dentists Martin and Taylor Volunteer to Give Hope
Marie just sat and stared. She didn’t even have enough left in her to cry–she had lost hope. Having just spent the last $46 she had to buy groceries for her family of five, Marie could not figure out how their other needs would be met. All the kids needed new shoes and clothing. Her 9 year old had been complaining of a bad toothache. The food she just bought would eventually run out. But of course there was no money for shoes, clothes, a dentist, or more groceries. The ever-growing mountain of needs of her family towered in front of her.
Sadly, Marie is not alone in trying to raise her kids in oppressive poverty. According to recent statistics, almost 30% of the children in Pima County live in poverty. Even folks who have jobs struggle. Tucson workers make, on average, about 7 percent less per hour than the national rate. These kinds of sobering statistics tend to cause people to have one of two reactions. They either throw their hands up in defeat, or they use their hands to get busy solving problems. HopeFest is made up of a lot of volunteers that definitely get busy!
For 21 years, HopeFest has devoted its energy to passionately serving the hungry, needy, and under-represented members of our community. Hope Network, Inc. is a nonprofit organization that collaborates with hundreds of faith-based organizations, community organizations, government entities, social service organizations, and businesses to serve the impoverished. Hope Network has an annual event called HopeFest. HopeFest is a citywide event that provides free groceries, clothing, medical, dental care, haircuts, hygiene items, and helping services to the most needy, underserved and marginalized populations. HopeFest has operated in Tucson for 21 years and last year served 20,000 needy Tucsonans at the Kino Stadium. HopeFest provides over $1.5 million dollars of goods and services on that one day. Unfortunately, more people are expected to need assistance this year.
Dr. Jeff Martin and Dr. Will Taylor are two Tucson dentists that participate in HopeFest each year. They have volunteered their time, skill, and resources to provide dental care for the less fortunate through HopeFest for many years now. During the actual HopeFest event, many Tucson dentists and hygienists are on hand to check, clean and fill cavities of the participants. But some dental issues that are discovered need more involved procedures that can only be addressed in a dental office. Drs. Martin and Taylor have provided free dental service for many of those patients who require an in-office procedure.
All images used are property of Hope Network Inc.
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