Dozens line up for Missions of Mercy Dental Clinic Thursday

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Submitted: Fri, 04/26/2013 - 3:40am
Updated: Fri, 04/26/2013 - 12:20pm

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.


  • exide2489 says:

    I love how in the video on this morning the guy they interview doesn’t have money for a dentist or dental insurance, but he has money for a lap top and wireless internet, and free time to wait in line for 2 days. Unbelievable!

  • Vog46 says:

    One of my daughters is a technology “nut”.
    She’s got a Iphone which she uses as a mobile hot spot for her laptop.
    She gets on the net anywhere she wants.
    She has no other internet service, no land line phone to pay for.
    She claims she saves money over using TWC internet with a wireless router and she has the added benny of portability everywhere.
    I’m having a hard time grasping all of this but I’m trying.
    My daughter says pretty soon she will eliminate her pay for TV service and save money by watching Hulu(?)

    I’m not keeping up obviously but she says the only way she can do this is pay for unlimited data on her phone plan which she does happily since she’s saving so much money by eliminating other things.


  • ChefnSurf says:

    Perhaps you’ve been living with Captain Nemo in his cold underwatwer world of isolation and haven’t kept up with current events … or perhaps you’re just unfeeling … but …

    There’s a lot of formerly middle class people, who used to have decent jobs, who’re struggling to still make their mortgage payments, who no longer have the health insurance they used to have and who haven’t tossed out their laptops (which are capable of picking up a free Wi-Fi signal) just because they’re now out of work and because those laptops are the only effective way to send someone a resume these days. Imagine that if you can for a moment. People who now find the only solution to a dental problem is to go to a free clinic because they don’t have the funds anymore to go to the dentist they’ve been using for the last twenty years. People who’re desperate enough to endure waiting in a line for up to two whole days.

    It probably isn’t an easy thing for people like that, who used to be able to take care of things themselves, to have to ask others for help. Having to endure the public humiliation of being outed on TV by an unfeeling TV reporter must feel like crap. Having some unfeeling jerk like you post some snide remarks about them as well is way over the top.

    Why don’t you just back off and shut the hell up.

  • Guest2020 says:

    Until you have walked a mile in someone else’s shoes, you should keep your mouth shut. You don’t know his circumstances. People do lose their jobs sometimes through no fault of their own and find themselves in circumstances beyond their control. Just because he needs a little help that doesn’t mean he has to give up all of his possessions. Do you know how many companies use the internet for their application process now? Do you know how many places have free Wi-fi? For all you know the laptop could be a hand-me-down gift from a friend or relative. It seems rather easy for you to sit back and judge others without knowing what they are going through.

  • GuestReality says:

    It’s easy to judge someone when you’re not walking in their shoes. No one knows that person’s exact situation.

  • ChefnSurf says:

    Got rid of cable TV some time ago (on the road pretty often anyway) and now use the internet for that as well as an over-the-air converter box when at home. Get to choose what and when to watch from Hulu and some others on the net, works just like a video player and it’s free. Currently have a great deal on internet service at home but when it ends I’ll be using a mobile hot spot as well. Your daughter’s on the right track. Throw in a little Skype now and then and she’ll be right up there with the Jetson’s.

    Chef :-)

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