Jeff Gray DDS - Newsletter
You can read it below or view our newsletter online in PDF format (1 MB).
In March, several of us had the opportunity to embark on a Humanitarian Dental trip to the Dominican Republic. It was such a special and uplifting trip. We wanted to share a bit of the story and let you feel just a small part of the joy we felt from serving these amazing people. We saw things that would rip your heart out, and then swell with happiness. It was truly an incredible experience. Our 3 hygienists Patsi, Kim, and Mary all volunteered to take 10 days out of their busy schedules and be away from their families, to provide dental care on the island.
The Dominican is beautiful, however it is filled with tremendous poverty. 60% of the population lives on less than $2 a day; yet, they are happy and joyous people. Baseball is very important to them; in fact, playing baseball for young boys is one of the only ways to get off the island. Even the poorest village had a baseball field, which was a unique site. Most of the Major League Baseball teams have training facilities on the island, and we got to see several of them.
Our trip began in Santa Domingo, and then moved around the island. We cared for over 750 people, with everything from simple cleanings and fillings to more complex care, including removing teeth (we did a lot of that) and improving their smiles. Some of us spoke some passable Spanish, but luckily our hosts and those more fluent helped with the parts we missed. Getting a hug or a giant smile after helping these folks, more than made up for the words that may have been lost in translation. Our group of 30 set out for a remote village, or “Batey” [BA-TAY] early every morning by bus. We carried everything we needed including compressors, portable dental units and supplies, and often set up shop in churches or classrooms. Luckily the weather was very mild, which made things even better for everyone. We were supposed to be down there helping the Dominicans; however, we ended up being the ones who benefited the most. It sure gives you an appreciation of just how lucky and even spoiled we are to live in the USA. It also makes you realize the many things we take for granted. We have also developed an appreciation for the many ways to cook chicken.
On your next visit, be sure and check out the wonderful book Mary put together of the trip out in the front room. (or check the blog at www.crowncouncil.blogspot.com)
Dr. Gray was one of the three finalists in MLB and People Magazine’s contest for “Community All Stars.” He was nominated for his work in helping children throughout the world, by founding the Smiles For Life charity back in 1998, that to date has now raised over 25 million dollars.
Thanks to all of you who went out of your way to vote and show your support for Dr. Gray. “I am so thankful we had so many people go to the website and vote for me. It was very humbling and even though I didn’t win, I was honored to have been nominated.”
I can hardly believe it, but we have been in our new location for 2 years. This is my 23rd year in practice, and I still love what I get to do, and I love studying and perfecting my craft. It’s an exciting year for both Mary and I, as we both turn 50 this year! I am happy to say she turns 50 first! Our daughter Jamie is a sophomore at Cal State Fullerton, and our son Kyle is a senior at Ramona High School. It’s really been fun to re-live those years thru our kid’s eyes.
“I realized today that this is the first time in my adult life that I have felt confident smiling. Thank you so much!”
I can’t tell you how much an innocent comment like this means to all of us. Our goal is not just to touch your teeth, but on some occasions we get the opportunity to touch your hearts. Thanks again to all of you, and for the tremendous support and gratitude you have showed all of us.
While we are blessed to be busy, we always welcome the opportunity to expand our practice family with more incredible patients like the ones we now have. If you have friends or family members, who might benefit from our special sedation technique or want information about a great new smile, please have them call us. Make sure to use our “SMILE CARDS” each time you refer an adult friend or family member. They will receive their initial exam, x-rays and consultation for just $50, and you will receive a $50 credit in our office the day of their appointment, as well as a special token of our appreciation.
Sincerely, (a youthful)