Volunteering Brings A Smile To Dr. Shawna Kufley’s Face

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Learn About My Mission Trips And My Latest Endeavour

Every day, I’m lucky enough to help people of all ages improve their smiles.

But not everyone can go to the dentist for regular care. This could be due to a few reasons, but often cost is a big factor. In underdeveloped parts of the world, lack of availability is another one.

That’s why I decided to help where it’s needed. To date, I’ve been participated in two dental mission trips organized by Kindness In Action (KIA). My first trip was in 2014 to Ecuador. Earlier this year, I travelled to the nearby country of Peru. On both trips, I provided patients extractions and fillings, and assisted with triage and clinic setup and takedown. I encouraged kids to feel at ease by playing with them and comforting them. I’ve gained valuable experience on these trips, but more importantly, provided help to those who really need it. Volunteering in these countries has reminded me just how good our life in Canada is.

This past summer, I began volunteering for another amazing organization called Calgary Urban Project Society (CUPS). After getting involved with this group, I discovered I didn’t need to travel abroad to help when there is a very clear need in our own city. I pitched in by removing local residents’ badly decayed teeth at an extraction clinic. CUPS is a great organization … it aids low-income Calgarians in three areas: health care, education, and housing.

Helping people feel better about themselves is priceless. When someone hasn’t been to the dentist in a long time – or ever – they are very grateful for the treatment they receive. It’s incredibly fulfilling to see them smile and express their appreciation.

I’m going to give a special shout-out to KIA and CUPS in this blog … by highlighting a few of their big achievements:

KIA

  • They’ve helped people for more than 30 years.
  • In 2018-19, they pledged to complete 16 projects in eight countries.
  • Nearly 350 volunteers are involved with current projects.

CUPS

  • A total of 11,423 people served this past year.
  • Named one of Canada’s Top 10 High Impact Charities in 2017 (Charity Intelligence).
  • Long-term homes provided for over 673 families and individuals

Giving back is something I plan to continue to do for as long as possible. I think William Shakespeare summed it up best when he said: “The meaning of life is to find your gift. The purpose of life is to give it away.”

Do you volunteer in your community or elsewhere? If you do, let me know where during your next appointment at West Wind Dental, your friendly Chinook dental team.

Yours in excellent dental health,

Dr. Shawna Kufley, your dentist in Calgary.