https://www.mountsdentalcare.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/mountsdentalcare340x156-300x138.png 0 0 Dr. Jason Mounts https://www.mountsdentalcare.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/09/mountsdentalcare340x156-300x138.png Dr. Jason Mounts2019-05-07 19:59:502021-11-16 20:01:05Saving the World
So we have funny saying around here. When people ask us how things have been going, we’ll tell them that, you know, we’ve just been saving the world, one tooth at a time. And, you know, as we do dentistry here at Mounts Dental Care, we know that we’re really not, well, maybe we’re making a difference for a few people, but yeah, we’re not really, probably, saving the world or anything like that. And for probably most of us, you know, the things that we do in our daily lives with our jobs and things, maybe we don’t feel like it’s that big of a deal. But today I wanted to talk to you about it because there are a lot of things that go on around the world, and around our communities, and things that we can make a difference in, and things that are a big deal.
And one of the things that I just wanted to mention to you about today is foster care. Foster care is something that my family got involved with about three years ago. It was kind of a interesting story about how that happened. It wasn’t something that we were really looking to get involved in, but it’s something that we felt called to do. And so we decided to start helping with the foster care system. And it’s been an amazing journey for us. There have been some times that have been kinda tough, but there have been so many times that it’s been such a blessing to us, and I’m hopeful that it’s been a blessing to the kids that we’ve been keeping.
Right now, we’ve got a little girl that’s been with us for almost a year and a half and she’s just fantastic. And it’s so good to be able to see her grow and mature and to be able to connect in ways that we know will be helpful for her throughout her life. But something you may not know is that in Arkansas, there’s about 5000 kids at any given time in the foster care system. And unfortunately, we’ve only got about 1600 foster family homes that are available.
So there’s definitely a shortage of places for the kids to stay. There are lots of different ways that people can help out. One is, obviously, just opening your home as a foster parent or a foster family. And that’s definitely needed. And, you know, for some people, that may be something that you would want to do or want to find more information about. And for others, you may say that that’s just not something I can do, but that doesn’t mean you can’t be involved and it doesn’t mean you can’t help. You can also, you can donate money.
There are lots of organizations around central Arkansas that work on the foster care system continually. And they’re always needing help, resources, and funds to be able to do the things that they do. Another way to help is to provide respite care. People probably don’t even know this, but lots of times, the foster families, they just need a place for the child to go maybe for a long weekend, just to give them a little bit of a break or go on a trip for themselves just to take a rest or something. And so you can actually just be a respite family, which is very similar to being a prolonged babysitter, I’d say, so it’s a really nice way to help out the child for a little while, but especially the families that are doing this.
And then another neat way to do it is that if you know of a family that’s doing foster care, you can actually sign up to be a foster support family. This is a really neat one because if you do that, you’re actually able to keep a kid for them for up to three days, so that if they’ve got, you know, a business meeting or something going on that they need a place for their child to stay, you can be a family that supports them in that way.
So there are also a lot of local organizations that help with foster care. And I want to mention a few of those. Specifically, The Call, Immerse Arkansas, and Project Zero. And you may also know that there are several local churches around here that are very involved in the foster care system, as well. And you may be thinking, you know, okay, this sounds like a pretty big problem. Would it really make a difference if one person decided to do that? Well, thinking about that kind of reminds me of a story that I heard one time about a young lady who was walking on a beach after a big storm. And the storm surge had come up and it had washed up just thousands and thousands of starfish. And this little girl is walking along the beach and she’s just throwing back starfish into the ocean. And there were lots of people out on the beach and a lot of adults that were watching her. And they were kind of laughing at each other. And one of the adults walked out there and looked at her and said, you know, do you really think that you can make a difference? I mean, you’re just one kid and you’re, you know, just throwing back one starfish at a time and there’s no way that you’re really gonna be able to save all of these starfish. There’s just too many. The little girl looked up at him and she kinda had a sad look on her face and she paused for a minute. And then she looked down at the ground and there was a starfish at her feet. And she picked it up and she threw it back into the ocean as far as she could. And then she looked back at the man and said, well, I made a difference for that one.
So can you fix the foster care system? No, one person can’t do that. But can you make a difference for one kid’s life? Yes, absolutely. And would it be worth it? Absolutely. So I hope that you’ll look for ways to maybe get involved. If this is something that you want to be a part of, it’s a great cause, great organizations that help with that. And I think that you will find that not only will the kids be blessed because you do that, but you will be as well.
Bio: Jason Mounts is a dentist in North Little Rock, Arkansas known for his kind approach to dentistry for kids through elderly patients. Services include teeth whitening, crowns, implants, veneers and more.