TUPELO – Two Tupelo dental clinics on Friday donated more than $14,000 of work in exchange for canned goods.
Main Street Family Dentistry and Kellum Dental Clinic had about 80 patients participate in the annual Trade Day event. The patients were able to trade canned goods for cleanings, fillings and extractions.
“It’s just a wonderful thing for the community,” said Shaundi Little of Kellum Dental Clinic. “With so many people losing their jobs and losing their insurance, it provides them an opportunity to come in. … It makes you feel so good because those patients wouldn’t be able to be seen without that.”
Little said the majority of the patients at Kellum were elderly people who don’t qualify for Medicaid, but they don’t have insurance or a steady income.
The Main Street practice saw a lot of families this year, compared with the trend of single people and married couples in previous years.
Dr. Harry Rayburn of Main Street started the event four years ago as a way to help people. The event is now sponsored by his nonprofit, Dentistry Making a Difference.
“Both of us grew up in Tupelo,” said Dr. Brett Hildenbrand of Main Street. “It’s a way to give back to the community, a way to help.”
Both dental offices said the day ran smoothly and they hope other dentists will join in the effort next year. Dr. Dan Kellum compared the volunteer efforts to how restaurants help firefighters and service personnel.
“It’s helps a lot of people out,” said Dr. Dan Kellum. “Maybe it’s an example for others.”
Kellum donated the canned goods to Pine Vale Children’s Home in Corinth. Main Street will donate its canned goods as well, but a nonprofit hadn’t been chosen on Friday.
Contact Carlie Kollath at (662) 678-1598 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Carlie Kollath/NEMS Daily Journal