This I Believe
A community where everyone fends for themselves is not a community that will thrive for success. A community where the people help one another builds a stronger community where the people are happy because they are helping one another improve their lives.
My mother is a dental assistant for Dr. Michael Han; Dr. Han has a friend that started a foundation known as Smiles Across Loudoun. Smiles Across Loudoun is a foundation that donates 200 free dental visitations to people that does not have the income to afford a quality service or do not have insurance. At first I was not interested in the foundation at all, I believed it was a waste of time, probably because I had to wake up at 4 in the morning. I begged my mom to let me stay home, but she said, “No, because I already signed both of us up to do some community service.” Annoyed and half-asleep, I woke up at 4 a.m. to get ready for the day.
On our way to the dental office in Ashburn, Virginia my mom began to tell me why I should go. She told me, “Cesar, you have no idea how many people wish they had the luxury to have braces, get regular check-ups, and have exceptional dental hygiene.” I had no idea what she meant until I actually got to the event. When I first got there I was told I was going to be sitting outside translating and asking people what type of work they want to get done. I was a bit upset that I had to sit outside in the cold and helping people I did not know.
Although I was upset, I did my best to help out everyone that came up, little by little I began to open up and appreciate what I was doing. Once I began to appreciate what I was doing I asked the doctor that was in charge of the event what exactly was his motivation behind starting this yearly event. He told me, “The reason I began to donate not only my time, but my services is because in order to move forward as a community we need to build up and strengthen everyone from bottom to top. Not only are we improving their health we are also helping them have a better self image.”
For the rest of the day I noticed that aside from the people that had to get extractions everyone walked out with a smile on their face. Knowing that the people were volunteering and donating time and money, were helping people improve their self-esteem and helping the less fortunate, really changed my mindset as to why I should always help people. Not only did it help others feel better it made me happy knowing that I helped the people that couldn’t speak English get the help they needed. Ever since that year I have volunteered every year, this is my 5-year doing so.