Meet Our Volunteers & Patients
A U.N. of Family Heritage – L is one of seven children in a family that is a blend of Israeli, American, Russian and Persian heritage. Her parents struggle to support the family and are unable to pay for their children’s dental care. It came as no surprise that on her initial visit to DVI, L, a seventh grader, was found to have no less than nine cavities! She and her brother E are now being treated at DVI. They are receiving the dental care and oral health education that will help them lead healthier lives. Read more.
Proud of His Smile – At the age of 22, A has been a patient of DVI for 9 years. As he explained, coming to DVI at the age of 13 was the first time he had ever had a real dental check-up! That was the beginning of his oral health education. He describes the DVI volunteer dentists as “incredibly kind and thoughtful” in addition to being “extremely professional and dedicated.” Young adults like A can continue to receive free dental care at DVI until the age 26, but we need your support to make that care available. Continue reading.
Smiles for Seniors – Watch the video about DVI’s new Smiles for Seniors program here. Since 2016 DVI has been providing free dentures to Jerusalem’s needy elderly and Holocaust survivors regardless of race, religion or ethnicity. In the program’s second year, 114 seniors, including 48 Holocaust survivors received this life-changing care. Seniors are finding healing and hope at DVI!
A Rewarding Family Tradition – Dr. Jim Haas tells us that working with DVI at The Trudi Birger Dental Clinic in Jerusalem is a fulfilling experience on its own, but when a father-in-law/son-in-law team do this together it brings another dimension to the already rewarding experience. During their most recent trip they treating two brothers whose family members have been patients of DVI for 20 years. The docs have made the trip together eight times! Read more from Dr. Haas.
Study, Work, Smile, Succeed – N is a 24-year-old young man who did his army service with the Kfir brigade. He is in need of our free dental services. N has already benefited from the skills of a volunteer periodontist for a much-needed extraction. He has also received general dental treatment and oral hygiene care. We are certain that with this important care and his incredible drive he will succeed in all his goals! Continue reading.
A Most Beautiful Experience – Dr. Sandra Florez loves being a dentist and seeing the healthy smiles of her patients. When she learned that there was an opportunity to help kids in need in Jerusalem she made the trip to the DVI clinic. She told us, “Together, our little DVI family changed many lives, including mine, in that week. Seeing those happy faces and healthy smiles and sharing my gifts with those who are less fortunate was a most beautiful experience.” Read more of Dr. Florez’s story here.
The Joy of a Smile – Svetlana is one of many elderly patients in DVI’s Smiles for Seniors program which provides free dentures to poor seniors, including Holocaust survivors. She is fortunate to have some of her teeth, but is missing many upper teeth. Svetlana will require partial dentures to allow her to resume eating a healthy and well-balanced diet. Her treatment at DVI will continue toward that end. You can already see the joy on her face! Read Svetlana’s story.
Seniors Smile at DVI – Anatoly’s dentures are 20 years old. As you can imagine, they are no longer is good condition which makes eating a challenge. He wanted to replace them but could not afford to do so. He is very grateful to have found DVI. Thanks to DVI’s Smiles for Seniors program, Anatoly will be receiving new dentures, at no cost to him, that are perfectly fitted to his mouth. He looks forward to smiling more and enjoying meals pain free. Continue reading.
My Turn to Give Something Back – Dr. Joel Gelbman considers himself privileged and lucky. “I chose dentistry as a profession and it, in return, has treated me very well,” he tells us. We think we’re the lucky ones to have such a wonderful, dedicated volunteer and we’re happy to share what he told us about his volunteer experience at DVI. Read Dr Gelbmans story here.
Hardship to Healing – B and his family are representative of many of DVI’s patients – normative families, each with their own hardships. Since they struggle with day-to-day expenses, proper dental care is not on the list of priorities. Without the free DVI clinic, B, his sisters and thousands of others like them, would not get the proper dental care and oral hygiene instruction that give them a chance to keep their own teeth and lead a healthy life! Read B’s story.
Caring and Embracing – Dr. Sue Gross is a member of the Board of Directors of AFDVI and a DVI dentist volunteer who makes the trip from Minnesota to Jerusalem every year to treat poor children and youth. Caring and embracing are two work dentists do at the clinic. “At DVI, volunteers can concentrate on caring for our community while embracing differences in nationality, languages, customs, and political and religious beliefs,” she writes. At DVI the dentists are as diverse as their patients. They come from all over the world to bring people together, one smile at a time. Read more.
Getting on the Right Path – L is 19 years old. Until recently, he was living in a youth hostel where he was in a drug rehabilitation program. After seven months in the program, he moved to a supervised living facility. It was from that facility that he was referred to the DVI dental clinic by his counselor. Although still uncertain about his future, L is working toward becoming a responsible and independent adult and is currently working in a fast food restaurant. Being free of dental pain allows him to focus on his work and a better future; helping to break the cycle of poverty. Read L’s story.
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