Last week, Dr. McIntyre and his wife Becky attended a special dinner hosted by Helping Haitian Angels entitled “A Night of Hope.” One of the speakers at this event was Tom Joyce, a former Navy fighter pilot who now serves as a Pastor at Immanuel Bible Church in Springfield, Virginia. Tom shared an incredible story that night—one that hit Becky hard and inspired her to take action.
Tom Joyce’s Story
On September 11, 2001, Tom realized along with the rest of America that we were under attack by terrorists. As he was working in the Pentagon at the time, he tasked his subordinates with the job of tracking aircrafts that may pose a further threat to our security. During that time, Tom left his office in the Pentagon just before it was hit by an airplane. Many of those working under Tom did not survive, and he spent that terrible day delivering the worst kind of news to their families. Tom had let his family know he was safe early on in the day, but didn’t return home until late at night. He was physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually drained.
When he walked in the door, his teenage son gave him a huge hug and then asked Tom if he could ask him a question. When Tom said yes, his son said something that kept him up all that night and has motivated him for the rest of his life: “God saved your life today, Dad. What are you going to do with the rest of your life to justify it?”
In a very real way, each of us is blessed to be on this earth each and every day. What are we doing to make each of our days worthwhile? What are we doing with the rest of our lives?
A Focus on Service
At Smiles for Life, we recognize that we have a unique opportunity to be a force for good in our community and the rest of the world. Every year we strive to do our part to give back. We participate in Dentistry from the Heart, volunteer at Open Doors, and travel to Haiti to work with Helping Haitian Angels, amongst several other community service activities. None of these services would be possible without the incredible, generous, and overwhelming amount of help we receive from our patients and other members of our community.
During this Holiday Season, we wanted to find a new way for us to give back with your help. Recently, we learned about an organization called Sole Hope.
This organization is working to help the people, especially the children, of Uganda eradicate an incessant parasite called “jiggers.” These jiggers burrow into people’s skin, usually coming in through their bare feet, causing blisters, infections, and—in extreme cases—gangrene and the need for amputation. Sole Hope educates the people of Uganda about jiggers, treats them, and provides simple prevention methods. The simplest way to avoid these awful jiggers is to wear shoes; that’s where we come in.
It is always encouraging when a child comes through our clinic without jiggers. For those who do, our hope is they take the education they have learned to influence those around them to live a #zerojiggers lifestyle. We have seen amazing success through education and are in awe of how far it truly spreads! #tuesdayshoesday #shoesthatchangelives #uganda
Sole Hope makes shoes for those in need using donated pairs of jeans for the upper part of the shoe and recycled tires for the sole. From now until February 7th, our office will be a collection site for jeans. Just bring us your old jeans, jeans that don’t fit, or those jeans you never even liked, and we will have a shoe cutting party and send the jean parts to Sole Hope. The shoes are assembled in Uganda by trained shoemakers, thus providing them with work and income to take care of their families. Most of us take for granted the fact that we get to put on a pair of shoes every day—let’s work together to provide this simple luxury to those in the most desperate need.
If you don't have any jeans you can donate, there are lots of other items Sole Hope needs! We would be happy to accept any of the following to send to them:
-Stickers for the children
-Large safety pins
-Antibiotic cream (Neosporin)
-Child strength pain medication
-Coloring books and crayons
-$10 to sponsor the fabrication of the rest of the shoe
Check out Sole Hope’s website for more ways you can help or give us a call to find out more.