With temperatures below freezing, we think more and more of the homeless. Recently — in partnership with Jewish Volunteer Connection, the Monumental Bar Association and the Harambee Center (formerly the Kid Safe Zone) — a group of volunteers created “blessing bags” for homeless individuals in Baltimore City. The kids and volunteers put together more than 100 bags of necessities, including toothbrushes and toothpaste, which were delivered by the children to Manna House later in the week.
When looking for supplies, we looked to dentists. Dr. Michael Rosen (formerly featured in this column) and Drs. Jennifer and Moe Virmani at Naylors Court Dental Partners stepped up to the plate. The dentists, who provide general dentistry to adults and children in the Pikesville community and surrounding areas, believe that community service is an important part of their practice. When approached by a patient for a donation, they agreed to help.
“Over the years, we always enjoy hearing updates on the lives of our patients and their current endeavors,” Dr. Virmani said. “Thus when our patient approached us about his humanitarian mission, the inclination to donate dental supplies was only natural. We are proud to support the dental health needs of the children in our community.”
The dentists’ generous donation was an important component of the blessing bags created and delivered by the children. The bags are to be kept in your car so you can easily hand them to people in need — or you can keep them in your purse or briefcase to hand out on your way to court. Blessing bags are a wonderful way to help people in need while providing a personal touch and allowing for personal interaction.
Businesses like Naylors Court Dental Partners, which are willing to donate boxes of toothpaste and toothbrushes for others to contribute, are key to helping others.
If you are able to create blessing bags with your co-workers or family members, seek out businesses in your area that might be willing to help. You can even set up a conference room at lunch to make bags that your colleagues can take with them as they head out to meetings.
It is cold outside and people are in need — and the need for dental supplies among homeless people is often overlooked. This is a great opportunity to think about who could help and to ask them to contribute supplies. You now have a good reason to call your dentist!