October 17, 2022 - The Tooth Fairy is REAL!


OCTOBER 17, 2022

Last week we were proud to attend an Open House celebrating one of our Partner Agencies well deserved and highly competitive, Commissioners Circle of Excellence Award.  CARE Clinic was the first agency to use United Way GWP's Strategic Initiative Funding to get their program started and they have been growing and changing in such positive ways ever since.


Every year as our Community Investment volunteers report on their site visits, I am so proud that United Way plays any part in this program. They continually receive rave review from volunteers and clients alike. It is due to people on the staff, the board and all of their many loyal and wonderful volunteers. Read on for more information about just one of those special people.

More than six years ago, Jessie Ludden joined the CARE Clinic dental volunteer roster as an in-training dental assistant in preparation for her admittance to dental hygiene school that fall. She immediately proved herself to be dedicated, bright, a quick study and an inspiration because of her positive can-do attitude. At that time, the safety-net dental clinic was only open one evening a week for dental emergencies. As Jessie progressed in her education, she continued to volunteer there, often filling in at the last minute when other volunteers cancelled. 


She soon began to feel the frustration that, under their limited dental model, there was no option for preventative or restorative care. Her graduation and certification coincided with a change in that model, transitioning to a four-days-a-week clinic, and accepting nominal payment or state insurances for preventative and restorative care.


The core staff at CARE Clinic included Jessie as hygienist and an advanced dental therapist. Jessie could have found employment that is much more lucrative in her chosen field, but she opted to work with this nonprofit dental care provider because of her commitment to dental health equity. 


In her nomination submission, we were told, “We could not have made this transition without Jessie’s determination and loyalty. On many days in a sometimes-hectic workplace, Jessie was the peacemaker and positive influence that helped to keep things running smoothly. She provided continuity as we made the changes during a time when it felt like we were always trying to hit a moving target.”


During this transition, she continued to lobby for an emphasis on meeting the dental needs of all children and reaching out to them in their school environment. She is the linchpin for their school outreach program and believes that dental health is a life-long process and must begin as early as possible. She understands the financial and time constraint struggles of many parents and works always to ease those challenges for the benefit of children.


Reprinted from America's Tooth Fairy News 


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Call if interested 651-388-6309

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Alone, we can so little; together, we can do so much.

Helen Keller

I believe we all want to make our homes, neighborhoods, cities, states and in fact our world, better places. But we think" What can I do that will have any impact? How can one person make a difference?  That is why United Way exists. You can support United Way with what you alone can afford, then we put it together with donations from so many others and suddenly...together...we can have a large impact!  Give to United Way - Imagine what we can do...TOGETHER!


Thanks for reading


Maureen Nelson

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