Martin Luther King once said that “Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, ‘What are you doing for others?’”
The folks at Christina’s Smile, a non-profit dentistry, in Austin, Texas, has been taking King’s directives to heart. For 33 years, in fact, they have been providing free dental services to disadvantaged children throughout the country in two 48-ft. mobile dental clinics.
“Yet, we wanted to do more,” says Diane Garza, executive director of Christina’s Smile, the charity begun by her husband, Dr. Richard Garza, in 1989. “Our charity feels blessed that we are able to help families in need in other ways as well.”
“Christina’s Smile has been so generous to our Pantry," says director Tom Bullaro. “This is the third gift we have received from them, in fact. These gifts have totaled a stunning $52,500 in three years!”
According to Bullaro, this donation for food is especially important because we used to get most of our food from Feeding Tampa Bay at reduced prices. Ever since food prices have been soaring in recent months, however, Feeding Tampa Bay has been distributing what food they have among hundreds of pantries, so there is less for us. This means we must purchase much of our food from local supermarkets at a higher price.
At the same time, we have more clients coming for food than we did in the past. We are now registering clients in seven towns, instead of three. We also care for pockets of veterans and the homeless as far away as Tampa.
“People don’t realize how much it costs to run the Pantry, which is really a big business,” Bullaro says. “We are paying more for everything, including insurance and especially electricity. Gas alone costs us about $500 a week. And maintenance of our two old trucks, which have hundreds of thousands of miles on them, is considerable.
“We are so very appreciative of Christina’s Smile for their care of us, once again this year,” says Bullaro.
To learn more about Christina’s Smile, please go to https://csmile.com. Be sure to view the videos online, including the one narrated by Dr. Richard Garza, who started this program in 1989 “to improve the lives of children all across the country.”