Impact Austin is an incredible nonprofit organization here in town that combines annual donations from members and gives multiple grants of more than $100,000 each June to local, worthy causes selected by its members. Manos de Cristo was one of this year’s grant recipients, and was featured in a Community Partner Spotlight within the most recent Impact Austin newsletter – a great read, and well worth re-posting!
Community Partner Spotlight
Manos de Cristo : Growing and Giving Thanks
Twenty-five years ago, one of our founders, Rev. Frank Diaz, spoke of the poor and homeless constantly knocking on the doors of his church, El Buen Pastor in East Austin. Many were young men asking for baby food. Rev. Diaz assumed they had children to feed. He soon found he was wrong. As he said, “these men would smile… But they had no teeth.”
The local hospital could not provide the dental care they needed. People suffering from toothaches could not endure the pain, so they resorted to pulling their own teeth. Many even visited a local man working out of his garage who used pliers to pull their teeth for them. Something had to be done. The Manos de Cristo Dental Center was envisioned and created by many generous supporters in the community and a very determined Board of Directors.
Twenty-five years later, Manos de Cristo remains the only provider of quality low-cost emergency, restorative, and preventative dental care and patient education. Today we serve over 4,200 patients a year in our clinic. And the need continues to grow year after year. To meet the growing demand, the Board of Directors developed a vision to expand from four treatment rooms to eleven treatment rooms and serve 7,000 more patients a year. After 18 months of planning, fundraising, and renovation, we are happy to announce that the expanded Manos de Cristo Dental Center will celebrate a grand opening this November. The vision to meet the growing need for emergency, low-cost dental care for people in poverty became a reality thanks to many caring donors in our community. Manos is very excited to be selected as one of this year’s Impact Austin grant recipients. The generous grant will equip three of our new treatment rooms with the equipment and supplies to provide high quality treatment. These chairs will be visited by more than 3,000 low-income patients a year. Over the 10-year life span of the chairs, over 30,000 patients will have been impacted by the grant.
At Manos, we’ll be giving thanks for many blessings such as all of the amazing members of Impact Austin. Thanks to your generosity, we will be able to give children, adults and seniors the smiles they all deserve.