2010 Volunteer Comments

Volunteers were encouraged to tell us a story about a patient interaction they had at OrMOM as well as about their experience volunteering with us.  Here is some of what they had to say:

OrMOM 2010 Volunteer Comments

About the patients:

I'll always remember the gentleman who came up to me during the event and thanked me for being so compassionate and courteous - he said that he was blown away by how respectfully he was treated. It brought tears to my eyes. – Dental Office Manager, volunteered Monday morning

I worked in Oral surgery on Monday morning.one of our patients ended up having to have a couple of extractions. She was upset, because she had come with the expectations of saving her teeth. We got her thru the extractions, and she went on for other services. I saw her about two hours later; she was very excited, because she was getting replacement teeth. I was very pleased to see this service provided. So many times this service is not available. Thank you for providing this for the patients. I saw a lot of very happy people. – Dental Assistant, volunteered all day Monday and Tuesday

As I escorted a female patient from the treatment area, I noticed that she was crying. Since she had had three fillings plus a root canal, I commented that she must be in pain. She responded, "Oh no, I have tears of gratitude because of all the kindness I have seen today. Next year I hope to be able to volunteer my help." – Community Volunteer, volunteered Monday afternoon

The story of smiles: every patient I checked at med triage thanked me many times with a smile, and said that they would have waited in the weather for any length of time to have their pain relieved or to receive dental care. How humbling for us all. – Nurse, volunteered all day Tuesday

I did 3 big anterior composites plus an extraction for this gal. She went to the restroom to look at how they turned out and when she returned told me it was the first time in 6 years she felt she could smile. – Dentist, volunteered Monday morning

I've never seen so many people so happy after getting dental work. It was like their lives were changed. – Dental Student, volunteered Monday morning

After a gross debridement with polishing on a Hispanic lady her husband thanked me for making her teeth look so much better. A very heartfelt, happy thank you! – Dental Hygienist, volunteered all day Monday and Tuesday

One engineer was there who had been out of work for a year with a 2 month toothache. He had driven 5 hours and waited 6 hours in the cold. He said he had learned so much just standing in line with everyone else and was very humbled at the life others lead for many years. He expressed an extreme amount of gratitude for our services. – Nurse, volunteered Tuesday afternoon

I have many mini-stories and to summarize the two that stand out the most were (1) the number of patients who thanked me and praised me for being there for them and (2) the story of the one patient whom I asked how long she had been waiting and   when did she get in- told me 7 o'clock. I thought that this was great- she had only been waiting since 7AM.   Then it dawned on me that she meant 7PM the night before!!!! – Dentist, volunteered all day Monday

Seeing a patient with cleft palate/lip issues who needed extractions come back 4 hours later with a new smile was the best! She was so proud of the work done. – Dental Hygienist, volunteered Tuesday morning

There was this little girl who had a few extractions and was in a lot of pain. The dentist didn’t mark her page for pain reliever so her interpreter ran to the dentist in charge. This guy was amazing! He went down to her level and fed her some chewables and pleaded with her to chew, even though it may hurt, so the medicine can work. Everyone there had so much compassion! I am very proud to say I was there! Thank you! -- Pharmacy Technician, volunteered Tuesday morning

I treated the patient of a volunteer dentist who was operating in the unit next to mine. They visited back and forth and the volunteer dentist was excited that the patient was getting the needed treatment that the patient wasn't able to afford in the private practice setting. – Dentist, volunteered Monday morning

Several of our patients started crying when we delivered their flippers. They were young women who were missing some anterior teeth and the interim dentures made a tremendous difference in their smiles and their confidence. It was a wonderful experience. – Dentist, volunteered Monday afternoon

I placed an upper resin based partial in a 20's something young man. His significant other came over after I had adjusted it; she was really grateful that he now had an attractive smile, and said so in no uncertain terms. – Dentist, volunteered Monday and Tuesday mornings

I did love being an exit escort and hearing all the positive feedback from the patients. To see the excitement from an older lady who would have a new denture and be able to enjoy her Thanksgiving dinner this year. How cool is that? – Community Volunteer, volunteered Monday afternoon

Despite the cold, rain and long waits that were upwards of 10 hours, all the people that were served was so incredibly grateful and gracious. They truly valued the gift of dental care that they received. I gave people their name tag in the morning when they arrived and then was an escort in the afternoon and got to see many of the clients come full circle leaving with smiles and having their pain alleviated. I also watched as I escorted patients to the rest room and they spent time brushing and flossing to get ready with pride to see their dentist for the day. I can't wait to participate again next year, and my husband (a dentist) and I will volunteer both days next time. It was truly a privilege to be a part of such an amazing event! – Community Volunteer, volunteered all day Monday

I had a patient that started crying when we started treating her. I asked if she was in pain. She said no, that she had been for a year but now we were taking care of her. She was very emotional and appreciative. – Dentist, volunteered Monday and Tuesday mornings

The man who had his front teeth extracted and replaced in 48 hours was so grateful because he was being rejected for jobs since the appearance of his mouth was so bad. – Pharmacist, volunteered Tuesday afternoon

Escort from lab to extractions, a young lady was crying. She said she was quite emotional because she knew when she left on Monday afternoon she could smile again. I share her tears and in my heart said "Bill paid in full." – Community Volunteer, volunteered Monday afternoon

There was a 20 year old girl who had suffered with 8 infected teeth for a YEAR who was finally able to have them removed and get a partial. It was inspiring to see the relief on her (and everyone else’s faces) when they left my station at the lab with full smiles of teeth and being virtually pain free. Beautiful. – Community Volunteer, volunteered Monday afternoon

I have never been thanked so sincerely by so many people. The participants came in feeling apprehensive and afraid, and they all left with a smile and a big "Thank You". I was able to work in the registration process and also escorting patients to the lab obtaining their partials, etc. Hearing stories of people getting work done, and then immediately getting back in line to be able to be treated the next day for more extractions, fillings, etc. – Community Volunteer, volunteered Tuesday afternoon

I was doing Spanish translations and at one point I a patient I was translating for asked me with a somewhat incredulous expression:   "Why are they doing this? Is it just to help people?" "Yes", I replied, "It is just to help people". – Community Volunteer, volunteered Tuesday morning.

I delivered a flipper to a patient and handed him a mirror to look at himself. He commented, "I forgot what I look like with teeth."  -- Dentist, volunteered all day Monday

I was working in the registration and escort to triage areas. Almost every single patient thanked us profusely for being there and helping them get dental help. One lady told us her husband was getting dentures that very day and that now they were going to have wedding pictures taken - 3 years after they got married - because he wouldn't allow anyone to take his picture with his bad teeth. I was blown away by all of the people who waited, and waited (some over night) to see if they were going to get inside and get the dental work they needed. What a great need there is. – Community Volunteer, volunteered all day Monday

Working as an exit interviewer, I was able to hear firsthand how thankful the patients were to have this dental care. Many were working poor; many women put their children before themselves for dental services and appreciated the "whole family" approach MOM took. – Community Volunteer, volunteered Tuesday afternoon

About volunteering for OrMOM:

MOM did a great job organizing this event. I had an amazing time volunteering. Well worth taking time off from work to help the community. I'm hoping MOM will come every year! I'm ready to sign up again! – Dentist, volunteered all day Monday and Tuesday morning

My entire staff and I felt uplifted by this amazing experience in giving back to our community with our dental skills. It was an exceptional experience to be a part of and we will continue to volunteer every year for the MOM! – Dentist, volunteered Monday morning

I was very pleased that we were able to do so much dental care in a short amount of time. Every part of the event went so smooth. Our patients were very happy with what we were able to do for them. – Dental Assistant, volunteered all day Tuesday

Everyone was very helpful and flexible. It felt like one big team working together, which is not so common of a feeling these days. It is a great opportunity for non-health care volunteers to help address health care needs of the underserved in a meaningful and tangible way. The recipients were grateful for the care they received. – Dentist, volunteered Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday

I volunteer for many events in our community and this by far was the best organized; as well as the friendliest group of individuals I have had the pleasure of working alongside. Sign me up for next year! – Community Volunteer, volunteered all day Monday

Wow, what an amazing experience to be a part of. It was so humbling and rewarding to be amongst such wonderful volunteers, organizers and patients. I had the privilege of greeting patients as they came in the door and I can't say enough how gracious and kind they were, especially considering the frigid temperatures and long waits. My heart broke for those who weren't able to be seen but I am so proud of how many people were served. I would volunteer again for this event without hesitation! -- Community Volunteer, volunteered all day Tuesday

This was really my first time volunteering for anything since I retired. I found it to be personally fulfilling and frankly, quite enjoyable. I had a great opportunity to interact with the patients.   I enjoyed this. – Community Volunteer, volunteered Tuesday morning

We owe Bill Zepp a great big Thank You because without his vision and passion for this it would have never happened. Made me proud to be ODA member. – Dentist, volunteered all day Sunday, Monday and Tuesday

I was amazed to see so many people come together in support of Oregon MOM. Everything flowed very well! The commitment, dedication, and care offered by our dental community during these 2 days was very touching! – Community Volunteer, volunteered Tuesday morning

Thank you for all your work. This was a great opportunity to give back and it was well organized and very worthwhile! – Dental Hygienist, volunteered Tuesday afternoon

I was deeply touched by this event, and as a dental student, I was reminded of why I desire to be a dental professional--we are able to provide special services to the public that prevent disease and/or improve overall health and well-being. I am excited to volunteer again next year and see the difference that we can make in the lives of many who don't have access to dental care. – Dental student, volunteered Monday morning

I was impressed with the process, equipment and flow of the patient handling from start to end. – Pharmacist, volunteered Monday morning

I volunteered for one shift only, with my assistant. We both agreed we would volunteer for an entire day "next time!" Great experience! – Dentist, volunteered Tuesday afternoon

This whole experience for me was awesome! I was so proud to be a part. It pleased me to have so much good info ahead of time and wonderful organization. – Dental Assistant, volunteered Monday morning

It was an honor to help at this event and I am very impressed and grateful for the time and effort put forth by the entire ODA team, and membership, to put this event on. The ODA staff kept a very positive attitude throughout the long hours and it was quite impressive. – Community Volunteer, volunteered all day Tuesday

I thought O'Brien lab was wonderful. Those lab techs probably worked as hard as or harder than anyone there those days and probably didn't get to see the fruits of their labor (satisfied patients). – Dentist, volunteered Monday afternoon

This was an incredible event to be a part of, and I would welcome the opportunity to volunteer again. – Community Volunteer, volunteered Tuesday afternoon

If there was a superlative to the right of "Great" I would mark it for the great job that ODA staff did in organizing and coordinating this very challenging event. Beautiful job, everybody should be very proud! – Community Volunteer, volunteered Monday and Tuesday mornings

This was the best volunteer experience ever. IT was very well organized and so many people in red shirts to help when necessary. The flow went well and the supplies/instruments were great. Thank you. ! I hope to get to do this again next time. -- Dental Assistant, volunteered Monday morning

This was the most impressive display of organization and efficiency I have ever seen, right down to the color coded shirts and nametags for all. Bravo! – Physician, volunteered Monday and Tuesday afternoons

Wonderful experience, I've told many about the outstanding project organization. Came away feeling good professionally and personally. – Pharmacist, volunteered Monday afternoon

Bill and all the leads did well. Was especially impressed with the way Terri communicated expectations to volunteers. – Community Volunteer, volunteered all day Sunday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday

I have received rave reviews from my employees that volunteered! They have all said that it was a memorable experience and this impacted them greatly! Thank you! – Community Volunteer, volunteered all day Sunday

Very rewarding experience. I would highly recommend it to all my colleagues! – Dental Hygienist, volunteered Monday afternoon

The OR MOM team of volunteers all seemed like a "loving family" atmosphere. It was a privilege to work this group. – Dental Hygienist, volunteered all day Monday and Tuesday morning

I enjoyed the opportunity to volunteer with MOM. I'd definitely do it again! I really enjoyed working with the volunteers - they all were cheery and upbeat! Wouldn't it be nice to go to work every day and get the same reception? – Dental Hygienist, volunteered all day Monday and Tuesday

I think it was an awesome job of organization and made me extremely proud of the dental profession and those who work with them! – Community Volunteer, volunteered Tuesday afternoon

It was a great experience for our office and family, as we all volunteered. The patients were wonderful and we appreciated the opportunity to be able to help them. – Dental Assistant, volunteered all day Monday

It was a great experience. I was thrilled to be a part of this very important event for the many new smiles it brought to so many people. – Community Volunteer, volunteered all day Monday and Tuesday