On Feb. 4, 1968, Dr. Martin Luther King wrote: “If any of you are around when I have to meet my day, I don’t want a long funeral. And if you get somebody to deliver the eulogy, tell him not to talk too long. Tell them not to mention that I have a Nobel Peace Prize. That isn’t important. Tell them not to mention that I have three or four hundred other awards. That’s not important. Tell them not to mention where I went to school… I’d like somebody to mention on that day, that Martin Luther King Jr. tried to give his life serving others… I want you to say that I tried to love and serve humanity.”
Each year, in recognition of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. holiday, Clayton State University’s Dental Hygiene students, faculty and staff provide a Day of Service for the community. This year’s Day of Service will be held at 1 p.m., on Tuesday, Jan. 22, at the Clayton State Dental Hygiene Clinic, located on the first floor of the Clayton State Student Center, when new patients will be provided oral-health screening, X-rays and patient education services free of charge. To make an appointment, call the Dental Hygiene Clinic at (678) 466-4920.
“The sound of Dr. King’s voice still resonates within the hearts and minds of those who love peace and serving others,” says Dr. Gail Barnes, Clayton State department chair of Dental Hygiene.
Last year, 14 new patients were provided free oral-health screening and X-rays, as well as patient education services. “Unfortunately,” notes Barnes, “many in our community have experienced poor oral hygiene due to a number of reasons such as lack of dental insurance and low income.”
The Clayton State Dental Hygiene Clinic typically provides several preventive dental care services for a nominal fee. These services are performed by Clayton State Dental Hygiene students who are helping their own dreams made real, and who are devoted to educating and providing oral health services to their patients.
“Students and patients provide mutually beneficial services that last long after the appointment is over,” adds Barnes. “Dr. King would certainly be proud of our Dental Hygiene students for their participation in the annual Day of Service, since it coincides with what he believed – to love and serve humanity.”