We saw it on the news…Politicians talked about it…People took sides…
But when Raul was referred to Young & Healthy, we just saw his most pressing needs. He was very scared and alone–LITERALLY. Raul was one of the many children who journeyed toward a safe haven, from Guatemala, all alone. He was traumatized, to say the least. He lives with relatives here in Pasadena and is receiving mental health services from one of our volunteer therapists. He is beginning to cope with the changes and trauma that have happened in his young life. He is enrolled in high school, making some friends and is the newest member of the football team.
Young & Healthy can’t do it all, but when one fragile child is in front of us, we fly into action–that’s who we are, taking care of one child at a time.
Mrs. Santos and her family emigrated from the Philippines last year. Her boys are in school and she is a dedicated and involved mom. Her three boys were patients in our mobile dental clinic, receiving long overdue care that she simply could not afford. She was so delighted and grateful for their new healthy smiles that she just had to give back. During National Volunteer Week, she helped bake and deliver bundt cakes to our volunteer doctors. She is now a permanent Young & Healthy volunteer providing our dental education program to a classroom of giggly first graders. Mrs. Santos certainly knows how wonderful it felt to have her children cared for by wonderful volunteers–and in return she is delivering that same kindness back to the community. Win, Win, Win!
Seeing is Believing
Sixteen-year-old Maricella had a rough start in life. After many years of heartache and neglect, she ended up in the loving home of her aunt. Trying to “make things right” for her niece, she brought her to Young & Healthy. Maricella still had the same glasses, battered and taped up, that she’d had since she was nine-years-old.
A volunteer optometrist performed an eye exam and updated the long overdue prescription. When Maricella went for her final fitting, her reaction was simple. Tears–big crocodile tears rolled down her face. Tears, because she could see again.
Dental Care Takes Care of More Than Teeth
Ten-year-old Simone and 12-year-old Tim, brothers, were recent patients at our Mobile Dental Clinic. Dental work can be stressful for any child and by day four of his care, Simone was growing weary and nervous.
Because the USC Dental team wanted this to be a positive experience for the kids, they called in reinforcements—big brother Tim.
Tim put on the dental scrub and mask, sat by his brother and comforted him to a successful completion of his dental care. By the end of the day big brother Tim wanted to go to dental school.
We are so grateful to the USC Dental School for treating the “whole child” and always taking special care of those who are frightened. The truest definition of TLC!
Simplicity Wins Again
Young & Healthy was created with a very simple and uncomplicated concept: Neighbors helping Neighbors. While health care reform is complicated and confusing, simple kindness never is. Zachary squints at the back of his classroom and his teacher notices. The teacher, in turn, sends him to the school nurse who does a vision screening. The nurse knows the family well, and realizing they cannot afford an eye exam, she calls Young & Healthy. Easy next steps—a volunteer optometrist diagnoses the problem and writes a prescription for glasses. Zachary and his family come to Young & Healthy where he picks out new glasses and yet another volunteer makes the glasses for him. Just neighbors helping neighbors—simple as that.