At Wood Creek Dental we are committed to using our unique skills to give back to our community and people in need around the world. For the last decade, we have traveled to Ecuador each year to give free dental and eye care to impoverished children and families in the remote Andean mountain villages.
“Each one of us in this world is uniquely gifted and talented to fulfill roles that are 'given' to us. Often, it just takes a willingness to expand beyond the borders of our comfort zone." – Dr. Dale Hunt
Making a World of Change
It was her first trip to Ecuador with Dr. Hunt and a team of fourteen others, but for Wood Creek Dental treatment coordinator, Jacci Wood, she is hoping it won’t be her last. “To walk into a run-down building and turn it into a dental clinic, and then to be able to serve so many people and see the appreciation in their smiles and in their hugs, still brings me to tears,” recalled Jacci.
Jacci has been a treatment coordinator at Wood Creek Dental for nearly three years but worked for Dr. Hunt as a dental assistant full-time, and as needed, for over 20 years. “It was kind of like getting back on a bicycle,” she said, regarding her role of assisting the doctors with the dental care being provided in their makeshift clinic.
For Wood Creek dental assistant Kalvaneshia Hill and for Dr. Katie McDaniel, it was a return trip to Ecuador; a return to familiar roles and to a not-so-familiar routine.
The days for everyone began with a rough and rocky hour and a half bus drive from the team’s housing in Riobamba to reach the families living in the village of Bazan Grande, located high in the Andes Mountains. The villagers would be lined up and waiting already; eager and thankful for the dental care, supplies, and relief from pain. One older man required 12 extractions due to broken, decayed, and/or infected teeth. When he was checked on the following morning, he was already pain-free and smiling happily.
In addition to dental treatment, those that were waiting to be seen were given oral hygiene care instructions and an opportunity for eye chart testing and glasses donated again by Surgeons for Sight. For four days straight, our team of doctors, hygienists, assistants, dental students, and volunteers gave their skills and their hearts to the beautiful people of Bazan Grande before making the hour and a half bus drive back down the mountain at the end of each day.
“It was hard to walk away and leave that last day, not knowing how their future dental needs and care would be met,” says Jacci. “I would go back every year if I could!”
For the villagers of Bazan Grande who received love, care, glasses and dental treatment from this trip, hundreds of lives were made better and hearts were filled with gratitude.
Sometimes you don’t have to change the world…to make a world of change!
For over 10 years, Dr. Dale Hunt of Wood Creek Dental in upstate South Carolina has brought his dental services to the country of Ecuador. It’s a special relationship that he and his staff have developed with communities across the nation. This past June, Dr. Hunt continued that tradition by visiting Cebadas, a remote village at the base of the Andes Mountains and offering his dental services to those in need.
Joining him on this trip was a team of 13 individuals, including his wife Joanne, his sister Judy, who for the fifth year offered her skills as a dental hygienist, and Dr. Riley Wedlake and Dr. Shivana Umadas, both dentists who practice in Denver, CO.
Click here to read the full article at Herohighlight.com.
In July 2016, although Dr. Hunt was medically “sidelined” at the last minute for the trip, Dr. Katie McDaniel stepped up and led the team of 13 to the Andean village of Pachancho. Our team was warmly welcomed by the indigenous men, women, and children of the area.
In partnership with One Heart Global Ministries, we donated time, skills, and services to roughly 200 patients in a makeshift dental clinic. Members of the team also set up an eye clinic and gave vision screenings, fitting those in need with eyewear donated once again by Surgeons for Sight.
This marks the 10th trip to Ecuador by a team of Wood Creek Dental doctors, staff, family and friends who have served and fallen in love with the people in this region of the world.
Dr. Dale Hunt and a group from Wood Creek Dental traveled once again to Ecuador this summer to share dental treatment and other services to those who would otherwise go without such care. This trip included ministering in some of the remote villages surrounding the base of the Andes Mountains, just outside the city of Riobamba.
In the last 6 years, Dr. Hunt, his wife Joanne, and their various travel teams have partnered with One Heart Global Ministries’ year-round efforts, assisting them in reaching 261 of the 1300 outlying villages with donations of shoes, pharmaceuticals, eye glasses (donated by Surgeons for Sight), dental care, and medical attention.
Read the article, “Beyond the Borders,” highlighting the 2015 trip.