The 2016 FLA-MOM is HERE!

By the FDA Foundation

The 2016 Florida Mission of Mercy (FLA-MOM) in Jacksonville is TOMORROW!

We have received such a wonderful response from our clinical and general volunteers — we are extremely grateful for their generous spirit to donate their time and skills to care for the citizens in the Jacksonville area. The FLA-MOM committee has gone to great lengths to make this a fantastic event for our volunteers, but most importantly, for our guests themselves — the patients we will be treating!

Over the course of the next two days, our amazing group of volunteers is supporting an effort that will make a life-changing impact for 3,000 community members. Clinical volunteers have a unique role in providing professional care and treatment for people who, for many reasons, lack access to care. The core clinical philosophy of the FLA-MOM is to improve the overall health of individuals by relieving pain and infection, restoring dignity and creating smiles.

On behalf of the FDA Foundation, its Board of Directors and the FLA-MOM planning committee, we would like to thank everyone involved from the bottom of our hearts.


Make sure you follow us on Facebook (Florida Dental Association) and Twitter (FDADental) — we will be posting throughout the event, and encouraging those involved to post using #FLAMOM.

 

A Beginner’s Guide to Volunteering in Dentistry

By Dr. Natalie Bustillo, FDA Foundation Board of Directors

Volunteerism is an honored tradition in the United States and around the world, touted as a celebration of the spirit of community involvement. Certainly, our community is familiar with philanthropic work. In fact, it’s estimated that Florida’s almost 10,000 dentists may donate as much as $15,000-$30,000 in free care and treatment each year.

Some people volunteer because they want to help people, others do it for a particular cause and some volunteer to make new friends. Whatever your reason, it’s clear that volunteering provides a number of benefits.

Trying to figure out what volunteer opportunity to choose can be a confusing and time-consuming process. How do you know that the organization is doing good work? Will the project be the right fit for you? If you’ve contemplated volunteering but don’t know where to begin, ask yourself the following questions:

1. How much time do I have? It’s always better to wait until you know you have the time for community service. Consider whether you are seeking an ongoing, a short-term or a one-time assignment.

2. What causes or issues are important to me? Look for opportunities that meet your interests.

3. What skills and experience do I have to share? Many organizations are looking for qualified professionals to serve communities in need, whether overseas or right here in the United States.

4. What level of physical activity can I manage? It’s important that you be honest with yourself regarding the types of volunteer positions that are a good fit for you given your health and well-being.

5. With whom do I want to work? Do you want to work independently or with a team? Do you want to work alone, or with a group?

Once you have identified your expectations, ask your friends or colleagues about their own philanthropic activities. It’s likely that your friends will have similar interests and can suggest opportunities that are a good fit for you. The Internet has great online volunteer referral services as does your local library. If your interest is in providing dental care to underserved populations or dental health education to youth, I suggest you start with the FDA Foundation — the 2016 Florida Mission of Mercy is right around the corner and we still need volunteers! This is the perfect opportunity to sign up to volunteer your time and services to those in greatest need!

For more information and to sign up to volunteer, go to www.flamom.org. Don’t delay — volunteer registration closes on March 1!

You Shop. Amazon Gives to the FDA Foundation.

By Heather Gioia, FDA Foundation, Director of Foundation Affairs

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The holidays are approaching, and many people will take advantage of “Cyber Monday” shopping offers. You can help the Florida Dental Association (FDA) Foundation raise much-needed funding by using AmazonSmile for your online purchases. AmazonSmile is the same Amazon you know — same products, same prices, same service. So, what’s the difference? The shopping experience is identical to Amazon.com — the only difference is the added benefit to support a charitable organization from almost one million eligible organizations. AmazonSmile will donate 0.5 percent of the price of eligible purchases to a charitable organization selected by customers.

That’s where you come in! When you first visit AmazonSmile, and are prompted to select a charitable organization, please select the FDA Foundation. When you shop at AmazonSmile, 0.5 percent of the purchase price will be donated to the FDA Foundation! There are no additional fees, and AmazonSmile offers the same great options and pricing as on traditional Amazon — plus you will help provide funds to the FDA Foundation!

Thank you and happy shopping!

Please take a moment to bookmark this link so all of your eligible shopping on Amazon will benefit the FDA Foundation: http://smile.amazon.com/ch/59-2019148.

Top 5 Reasons to Volunteer

5. Volunteering makes you healthier.

Positive emotions, like optimism and joy, strengthen the immune system and reduce stress. Experts report that focusing on others interrupts usual tension-producing patterns. In fact, volunteering also has been shown to lessen chronic pain or heart disease symptoms.

In my mind, an important factor regarding volunteerism is you need to do it for yourself. Do it to benefit yourself and you won’t regret it.” ~ Dr. David Russell, FDA Foundation President

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4. Volunteers learn about our government and social programs.

A solid understanding of these resources strengthens professional advocacy efforts and helps to solve community problems.

“I never knew there were so many community agencies and service groups that are interested in their clients’ oral health until Karen and I formed the Hillsborough County Oral Health Coalition. The agencies’ representatives met with us to discuss common problems and determine steps that eventually will cause an improvement in the oral health of everyone their organizations touch. Together, we approached the legislators within our county and were able to advocate for changes that will raise awareness of the importance of oral health. It was a rewarding experience!” ~ Dr. Terry Buckenheimer, ADA Trustee

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3. Volunteering promotes diversity, fosters empathy and encourages civic responsibility.

It stimulates personal growth by improving social skills, builds new friendships and broadens your support network.

“I have been on more than 35 foreign mission trips — six were with the University of Florida dental students. I enjoy them. The reason I do them is a feeling of responsibility to use what God has blessed me with to serve others. What always happens is I get blessed more than the people I am caring for.” ~ Dr. Bob Payne, FDA Foundation Vice President

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2. Volunteering can advance your career.

You meet new business contacts and gain professional experience you otherwise might not have. It also can expose you to professional organizations or fellowships that could be beneficial.

“It is natural to want to give back to this wonderful profession that has given me so much. Volunteering has allowed me to meet amazing people all over the country and especially in Florida. From children I have met while participating in career days at local schools to dentists and corporate leaders throughout the country, giving back has actually ended up giving me more. The friendships I’ve developed are a lasting treasure.” ~ Dr. Idalia Lastra, FDA Foundation Treasurer

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1. You make a difference.

Volunteering provides a way to have a real and lasting impact on the world.

“Churchill once said, ‘We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.’ Volunteering for the FDA Foundation has given me — and so many others — a life of purpose. You can make a difference, too. Give your time.”  ~ Dr. Bill D’Aiuto, FDA President-elect

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