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.”
“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, acting chair of the Department of Dental Hygiene at Clayton State University.
Each year, in recognition of the Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., holiday, Clayton State dental hygiene students, staff and faculty provide a “Day of Service” for the community. This year, 14 new patients were provided free oral health screenings, x-rays and patient educational services in the Clayton State Dental Hygiene Clinic (see photo).
“Unfortunately, many in our community have experienced poor oral hygiene due to a number of reasons such as lack of dental insurance, low income, etc.,” says Barnes.
The Clayton State Dental Hygiene Clinic provides several preventive dental care services for a nominal fee. These services are performed by students who are devoted to educate and provide oral health services to their patients. Students and patients provide mutually beneficial services that last long after the appointment is over.
“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,’” adds Barnes.