In Honduras, poor dental health is still a major cause of illness and even death. Many children arriving at El Hogar have never even owned a toothbrush. In 2006, Dr. Jim Campi a dentist from Maryland, visited El Hogar.
“I was profoundly moved not only by the program, but by the realization that I had a chance to do something with my education and skills that would make a huge difference in the lives of so many children,” Dr. Campi remembers. He went back to the US and raised money and organized dental teams to come to El Hogar.
“The response from people around the country in support of the dental mission has been amazing. We have raised over $60,000 to purchase state-of-the-art dental equipment,” he says. El Hogar now has a fully equipped, three-chair dental clinic and several committed dental teams who visit every year.
Dental teams continue to improve the lives of the children, not only by supporting their health, improving their appearance and boosting their self-confidence, but by showing them love and compassion as well. To Dr. Campi, it is a two-way street:
“I often feel as if I am receiving a greater gift by serving these children,” he says.
Dental Hygienist Chris Poling has been traveling to the clinic with Dr. Campi every year since 2007. Chris explains,
“From the beginning, we have wanted to provide the kind of care that we give in our practices back home. We decorated it, provide blankets and stuffed animals to comfort the children. They have toys to play with while waiting to see the dentist and get to go to the treasure chest when finished! I have been in dentistry over 20 years now, and have never met children that are so grateful! I love each and every one of the children as my own. So, as mother, I will fight to help my children be healthy and prosper.”