WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — For the second year in a row, Cape Fear Community College will host the North Carolina Missions of Mercy Dental Clinic.
Based at the Schwartz Center, the clinic will provide hundreds of people in financial need free services.
The first person in line says he got to CFCC’s campus Wednesday to make sure he could see one of the organization’s volunteers.
“I just wanted to make sure I made it here, I’m coming from Asheville,” said Thomas Humpal.
People have traveled hours to Wilmington to receive free dental care from volunteer dentists.
“Right now, I’m unemployed,” said Humpal. “I kind of have to do it this way. I don’t have a whole lot to spend on that, otherwise my teeth would rotting out.”
For some this isn’t their first clinic.
Glenn Jackson drove from Raleigh to get a partial denture after getting two teeth pulled out at a clinic in Charlotte.
“It affects my smile, and I am very self-conscious of it,” said Jackson. “You know it’s a lot of people walking around feeling the same way as I do, that are self-conscious of their smile or the way they look.”
Friday and Saturday volunteers will provide services which includes fillings, extractions, cleanings, and a limited number of front tooth partial dentures, all free of charge.
“They take off a day of their time and sometimes two days just to give back to the people that need it,” said Bobby Dragula.
Thursday night there were a couple dozen people in line waiting for the clinic to open its doors. Organizers say they are expending hundreds by the end of the event.
Last year, about 650 people attended the clinic. Organizers say they had to turn nearly 200 patients away.
According to CFCC, Missions of Mercy has enough equipment and supplies to set up an 80 chair clinic.
People who qualify should have a family income of less than 200 percent of federal poverty index.
The clinic starts Friday at 6 a.m. and runs until 4 p.m. It will re-open Saturday at 6 a.m. though 3 p.m.