Hi, my name is Theresa and I'm organizing this fundraiser for Mutual Morris to raise funds for local people needing emergency dental care.
Imagine having a terrible toothache and not being able to do anything about it. Imagine the pain stretching out for days, weeks, months and calling dentist after dentist to be told there's nothing they can do to help you because of money.
Maybe you've lived through this yourself: "More people are unable to afford dental care than other types of health care. In 2015, the percentage of people in the United States with no dental insurance was 29% overall and 62% for older adults. Traditional Medicare does not cover routine dental care, therefore many lose their benefits upon retirement."*
"Low-income adults suffer a disproportionate share of dental disease, and are nearly 40 percent less likely to have a dental visit in the past 12 months, compared to those with higher-incomes. Forty-four percent of low-income adults ages 20 to 64 have untreated tooth decay, and five percent of adults have lost all of their teeth. Adults who are disabled, homebound, or institutionalized have an even greater risk of dental disease.
Poor oral health can elevate risks for chronic conditions such as diabetes and heart disease, as well as for lost workdays and reduced employability. It can also lead to the preventable use of costly acute care. A recent study identified $2.7 billion in dental-related hospital emergency department visits in the U.S. over a three-year period. Thirty percent of these visits were by Medicaid-enrolled adults, and over 40 percent were by uninsured individuals."
Right now, we are raising funds to help two of our beloved community members:
- M, a single mom with many health challenges, is devoted to her son who also has many health challenges. Until recently, she was unhoused but now receives benefits through several programs to help pay for housing, utilities, food, and most medical care. Still, she needs to pay $250 for out-of-pocket costs for emergency dental treatment.
- G, a woman with disabilities who tries so hard to work and keep a job despite ongoing pain and exhaustion, who has been through so much trauma and hardship but is always a joyful presence at our social and arts & crafts gatherings. She needed emergency dental surgery that we were able to get her into yesterday but we still have to cover the $791 cost.
Together, we can help make a difference in our communities. Every little bit helps.
Mutual Morris is a mutual aid group that began in February of 2020 to help people impacted by the Covid pandemic. So far, we've worked with over 3,000 families on a wide range of issues including food access, housing issues, transportation, and various medical needs, including medications and doctor's visits. Several families we work with have needed emergency dental care and were unable to access it on their own or through any of the programs they're eligible for. We believe it is our responsibility to help, and we are grateful for the support of people like you to make it happen for so many families over the last 2.5 years.
Learn more about us in this article from 2020: https://www.thenation.com/article/society/coronavirus-mutual-aid/ and learn more about mutual aid at http://bigdoorbrigade.com/what-is-mutual-aid/
Follow us on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter @ mutualmorris or contact us any time. Share your dental stories with us, and let's organize to ensure everyone gets the care they need.