When Ashley Marlink began working for Southern Arizona Endodontics as a dental assistant six years ago, she quickly learned there was something different about this practice. Not only was the level of patient care remarkably superior, but the people who worked there all exhibited much more than just a desire to get a paycheck. From the doctors to the receptionists, these people truly cared about others and their efforts were not just in words, but in action. They also took those caring actions outside the walls of the office, to the Tucson community at large.
SAE “Love Others” Philosophy
Ashley observed that the doctors and assistants happily volunteered their time and skill during Hopefest– an annual Tucson event where medical professionals and others volunteer their skill and time to help the hungry, needy and under-represented members of our community. Then during the holidays, Ashley watched as underprivileged families’ needs were provided for through gifts and donations from the SAE staff. No, this wasn’t just a job towards a paycheck for these folks; there was a “love others as you love yourself” philosophy that permeated every aspect of the practice.
Ashley soon realized that all she and her coworkers needed was to know where and how they could volunteer their time to the community, and they would be there! It was in that spirit that Ashley and the others on her committee spearheaded the SAE Cares program, which would provide the SAE staff opportunities to volunteer at various organizations throughout Tucson. Presenting her idea to the doctors, Ashley was given a hearty stamp of approval to move ahead with the program. She and her team started to research other organizations in Tucson where the SAE staff could volunteer their time.
Casa de los Niños
Casa de los Niños was the first organization the SAE Cares Program volunteered time to. Casa de los Niños provides various services to at-risk children and their families within our community, including intervention, treatment and prevention strategies. Casa de los Niños operates a children’s shelter and it was there the SAE staff were invited to volunteer. Not only did they provide gifts and other items for the kids at Christmas, they continued to visit the kids after the holidays to do crafts, read and help with other activities. The turnout of SAE staff was phenomenal. This again was proof that all the SAE staff needs is to be told where there is an opportunity and they eagerly step up to serve their community.
More Volunteer Opportunities
The response from the SAE staff and their families was so remarkable for the Casa de los Niños events, the SAE Cares committee realized they could do much more. All they had to do was research other organizations needing help, post flyers of a volunteer event, and SAE people would show up! Soon another SAE Cares event was held at the Community Food Bank where volunteers worked in the warehouse sorting food items.
Future SAE Cares Opportunities
Some other organizations where the SAE Cares program plans to give their time are the Humane Society, the Gospel Rescue Mission, and the Ronald McDonald House. SAE Cares goal is to have at least one scheduled event each quarter, equalling four events per year.
To learn more about SAE Cares and future volunteer events, contact Ashley Marlink or any of the other folks on the SAE Cares committee.