“First Mondays” are an important day for the Mission Arlington® family. For many people, of course, “First Monday” refers to Canton, Texas, and their famous trading zone which happens on the first Monday of each month. It means something completely different here.
Our Initial Approach
Many years ago, a patient could gain access to the Allan Saxe dental clinic any given day on a “first-come/”first serve” basis. Yet, the need was so great, that many people waited all day without getting in to see one of our volunteer dentists. People were understandably frustrated, and we were too.
Our Second Attempt
At that point, we decided to take another approach. Anyone who fit the parameters of our care who needed to see a dentist could sign up at any time when they came through our “front room.” The need for dental care was so great, unfortunately, that those “front room” appointments began to be a year to 18 months, and sometimes even two years out. We found ourselves saying to adults experiencing dental pain that they could see our dentist, but not for a long time. We were doing our best, but it didn’t feel good to anyone.
At 8:30 a.m., on the first Monday of every month, potential patients of the dental clinic can call our dental hot line number (817-860-4474). We take as many new patients as possible each month. We have nearly 60 dentists who volunteer with us each year at varying levels of frequency. In 2018, we treated more than 1,300 patients over 3,600 times, so we have a strong and active clinic. Even so, the number of people trying to get through on those First Mondays is way more than the number of slots we have available.
As you pray for the Mission, would you remember to pray for the Lord to prompt more volunteer dentists to come and serve. The family of dentists in and around our community who provide support are amazing, generous, and dedicated. They work long hours in their own profession, then donate their time and skill to help the lest fortunate through our clinic. With each new volunteer, however, we are able to help so many more people. Please join us in asking the Lord for more dentists, hygienists, and other volunteers.
Spread the Word
If you are a dentist with some potential extra time coming up, please give us a call. Debbie M. at 817-704-6141 can help get you connected. If you know someone you think would be a great help to the people here, please spread the word about our clinic. You never know how the Lord can use your voice to make a difference.
We are grateful for the privilege we have of serving with each of you in this community.
[Originally published in February 2019]