It has been exactly one week since our Just Cause meeting, and one story keeps popping back into my mind: Our speaker, Pam Clasgens, told us the story of a little boy who was given a brand-new toothbrush after his visit with the dentist. He then asked the HEALS worker if this brand-new toothbrush was for him - or for his entire family.
Pam says that this is not an uncommon question they heard from kids. (HEALS now gives out toothbrushes and full-size toothpaste tubes for the student’s entire family at the end of dental visits.)
HEALS provides school-based medical care and dental care to economically disadvantaged schoolchildren as well as social services to families. They see about 2,000 children a year. Clinics are at Morris, Madison Crossroads, University Place and MLK elementary schools.
I love that HEALS was started because a couple of people saw the need and acted on it. Transportation is a huge obstacle in children receiving medical attention. HEALS changed that. Genius.
HEALS sees patients birth to 19 years old because they see students’ siblings. And once you are a HEALS patient, you can remain a HEALS patient until you are 19. They are often teaching parents as well since so many of them did not grow up receiving regular medical and/or dental care. HEALS often refers students to other services they might need as well.
Thank you, you generous Just Causers, for all your donations!!! HEALS relies heavily on community donations, and children LOVE their new shoes. Wearing new shoes that fit - without holes - is awesome. And new shoes are also an incentive for parents to get their children to the office for their well checks. It is a win-win.
I appreciate you, and I know HEALS appreciates you. And all those proud children do, too. THANK YOU.