Friday, September 11, 2009

Thursday September 10, 2009

In keeping with the tradition that most Crown Council offices have, we begin each morning here in the Dominican Republic with a morning huddleDr. Roy Hammond asks someone on the team to prepare a short thought for the day before the local minister offers a prayer followed by
our expedition team cheer. This morning was no different with a morning huddle thought by Jan Kitzrow, a prayer by Angel Hammond who subbed in the absence of a local minister, followed by some recognition for our Dominican team members. Each received a special certificate of recognition for their contribution to the team this week.

We worked today in an area outside of San Pedro called Santa Fe. We had a community center that was offered to us for the day that was just a few blocks away from a very needy area. We had the opportunity to restore some smiles as well as take care of some chronic dental problems that were long over due to be treated.

Every day, there are always opportunities for everyone to jump in where needed. Whether is it in the set up, tear down or responding to an urgent request, everyone does whatever it takes to make it a successful day. As one example, Tim Szymanski who works as an undercover police officer in the U.S., jumped in to help assist Dr. Dennis Wells. Taira Hovden and Abby Anderson have had several opportunities this week to assist as well. In fact, after an entire day of assisting Dr. Jonathan Nocolas today, Abby made the insightful observation that “dentists make things worse before they make things better.” Pretty good for a 12 year old who watched a day’s worth of preps and restorations.

If you attended the Crown Council Annual Event earlier this year, you will remember the presentation by Kevin Carroll who used the red rubber ball as the focal point of his talk. In keeping with his challenge to add more play and creativity into our day, we came equipped with plenty of red rubber balls to use in the brief moments when we could take a break and interact with the children. No matter the language barrier that some may have had, every child, without exception, understood the language of the red rubber ball!

As we wrapped up our last work day of this expedition, we all gathered outside the community center where we worked for the day for one last group photo. Mostly total strangers a week ago, we had become a fine tuned team that could take on even the most challenging dental situations. It has been a fulfilling and worthwhile week where lives have been changed for those who were treated as well as those who provided the treatment. This effort that combines the resources of the Crown Council, Smiles for Life Foundation, Smiles for Hope, Esperanza International along with generous donations of supplies from Henry Schein Dental, Discus Dental and others is well on its way to accomplishing its goal of helping the people of this country help themselves.

If you have yet to get involved, just do it! The Crown Council is staffing the expeditions for 2010 right now. For details, just e-mail:

Our next expedition will be in November when we will post the daily events again on this blog.

Thanks for being part of our adventures this week. We hope you have gained just a glimpse of the work that is going on here and what is happening as a result.

Steven J. Anderson and the Crown Council team.

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