St. Christopher’s Children has made major progress in meeting the clothing needs of kids in crisis. Another challenge is to help kids who are struggling in school because they cannot get medical care. St. Christopher’s steps in to refer children needing dental, orthodontic, vision and other medical care to appropriate medical professionals. We are blessed to have available to us doctors and dentists who have donated more than $150,000 in services since our formation in December, 2007.
Following are some brief stories of how the donations of caring people in our community, doctors and dentists who partner with us and organizations that provide us grants are making a difference, Helping Kids in Crisis When No One Else is There.
No One Else is There because:
- The children are not eligible for Medicaid or aid is not available when needed
- Parents/caretakers are unable to provide for the needy children
- Parents/caretakers have exhausted all other avenues of assistance
As of June 30, 2013, St. Christopher’s Children has helped 135 children get the medical care they need. It’s too early to know the specifics of how these stories will end but we are confident we are helping these kids get healthier and gain increased self esteem – important determinants of how well they will do as students. We currently have 20 kids awaiting funding for the orthodontic care they need.
We had a little girl who had a problem. She couldn’t see and she needed a pair of glasses and her mom couldn’t afford getting the glasses so she was failing and her self esteem was low. She was very quiet and withdrawn.
Can you remember what it was like for kids with dental problems when you were a kid? Maybe you were one of them – but blessed with a family that could see that you had the needed dental care.
There is a young girl whose teeth are in such bad condition that you hardly ever see her without her hand in front of her mouth. She is being home schooled because she is too ashamed of her appearance.
We have a student with dental problems that made him the object of taunts by other children. He was so uncomfortable that he stopped taking the school bus and other means had to be taken to see that he got to and from school.
A student had to have seven extra teeth pulled. Her condition was painful and students that are in pain cannot concentrate on the work in front of them. Her father and mother could not afford the orthodontics or an oral surgeon. Saint Christopher’s Children has been helping her since last year. Without them, she would not have had the care she needed. She is much more confident now and smiles all the time.
Basic Clothing and Medical Care
There was a student of 14 in middle school whose parents had recently separated and his mother had moved out of state. He was living out of a car with his father, who was unemployed. His father decided to move out of state as well to seek employment and didn’t want to take his son with him, essentially abandoning him. Fortunately, an elderly, neighboring couple, offered to take him in if provided appropriate papers of guardianship, which they received. A resource teacher in the school brought this young man to my attention. Not only did he lack basic clothing, he desperately needed orthodontic and vision care. I contacted St. Christopher’s Children and they provided the needed clothing and arranged for the medical care.
The young man has graduated, is working two jobs and is taking classes to be an EMT. I hate to think what his situation would be if St. Christopher’s hadn’t been there to help him.