Thursday, March 14, 2013

Another Successful Collaboration!

For Catholic Charities to be successful, we know that working with other organizations and local business is essential. Our Columbia office recently helped a client through the Save-A-Smile program by partnering with a local dentist and another local non-profit organization. This client received the dentures they needed and also gained a new, brightened attitude. After receiving his dentures, this client was visited by an employee at Supportive Housing Services of Columbia. This is the message we received:

“I just wanted to thank you for helping C with his dentures. I went to his apartment this morning and he was delighted because he had a bright, new smile. He feels extremely lucky to have the dentures. When I arrived he was trimming his beard to so that his new smile would be more visible and I had a hunch he was eager to show them off. It was a great moment for him.
Catholic Charities should be proud of this ministry. It is much needed in Columbia. After seeing how happy my client was this morning, I hope that you will have plenty more opportunities to help people in need. Thanks again!”

As a result of the Save-A-Smile program, this client is once again excited to show off his smile. Thank you to the local dentists, volunteers and donors who make programs like ours successful! To learn more about getting involved with Catholic Charities, please visit our website here.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Save-A-Smile Grant

Coastal Catholic Charities recently received a $25,000 grant from the Wal-Mart State Giving Foundation for its Save-A-Smile dental program. Save-A-Smile provides comprehensive dental health services to low-income, uninsured or underinsured residents of the Tri-County area. These services comprise of education, prevention, treatment, and replacement for individuals who have suffered due to a lack of dental insurance and inadequate access to dental care. As the only resource for low-cost comprehensive dental services in the Tri-County area, Coastal Catholic Charities provides subsidized dentures, dental cleanings, and general dental care for eligible clients. A large proportion of these clients are in desperate need of specialized dental services such as fillings and extractions. Coastal Catholic Charities is fortunate to have seven dental partners in the North Charleston area. This team of dentists offers exams, x-rays, root canals, and extractions, as well as full, single, and partial dentures. Free oral hygiene classes, provided by a volunteer dental hygienist, are mandatory for Save-A-Smile participants.

According to a 2011 PBS Newshour report, only 50% of Americans see a dentist each year due to high dental insurance costs and/or inadequate access to dental providers. Further, there is a "distinct correlation between poor oral health and diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and (in women) low-birth weight babies." Findings from a 2010 report by Roper St. Francis Hospital show that 148,511 (23%) of Tri-County residents lack health/dental insurance. The majority of clients sees at Coastal Catholic Charities are either uninsured or have inadequate coverage. Many suffer from chronic, debilitating conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, and depression. Once they receive a diagnosis, many of our clients still struggle to receive the dental treatments they so desperately need.

Catholic Charities and the Save-A-Smile program are essential resources for our clients, as they provide both the access to quality dental care that clients are in need of while also giving them hope for a holistically healthy future. Thanks to the Wal-Mart State Giving Foundation, Catholic Charities is able to continue offering these services and providing life changing treatments to clients in the Tri-County area.

Monday, March 4, 2013

Prescription Assistance Grant

Coastal Catholic Charities was recently awarded a $2,000 grant from the Ladies' Benevolent Society for our prescription assistance program. In the Tri-County area, approximately 148,511 (23%) residents lack health insurance (Health System Profile for the Tri-County Area, 2010. Additionally, the majority of Coastal Catholic Charities clients are either uninsured or have inadequate prescription coverage. Many of them suffer from chronic, debilitating conditions such as diabetes, hypertension, and depression, amongst many other conditions. Once these conditions are diagnosed, the inability to access life-enhancing medications is another obstacle that our clients must surmount. Coastal Catholic Charities is a vital resource for these under served clients. Our free Wellness Program offers our clients comprehensive medical care comprised of prevention, treatment, and health maintenance. Thanks to the generosity of the Ladies' Benevolent Society, we are able to continue funding this crucial program!