The CRP began 25 years ago with a simple concept – children should not live in pain. Ventura County Medical Resource Foundation’s program coordinates culturally and linguistically responsive access to donated dental treatment and vision care for underserved infant through 18-year-old children from low-income households.
These children have been referred by schools, child care programs, social workers and other professionals because their untreated conditions are interfering with their ability to learn, participate with peers and develop appropriately. Even with insurance and public programs, there are hundreds of treatments necessary to relieving pain, disease, and disfigurement that are denied to children we serve every single day. Working families that are already struggling to meet Ventura County’s high cost of living – particularly families who lack knowledge of systems of care and possible resources – are forced to watch helplessly as their children suffer because they cannot afford to pay for their treatment.
Maribel’s mother, a single parent agricultural worker, watched helplessly as her child became listless and lethargic due to her inability to eat, already severely underweight, she continued to waste away. Our task was to find her a pediatric dentist so we called the Oxnard Children’s Dental Group.
Due to the child’s age and fragile condition, she would require an I.V. sedation before any treatment could be performed. With the help of the Mexican consulate which donated the monies for the required anesthesia, Maribel was now able to eat, regain her strength and thrive. The Children’s Resource Program continues to provide a trusted resource for school nurses, social workers, Public Health workers, and other concerned professionals. Here, they can make referrals of children for whom access to care is apparently “hopeless”, and yet, for whom the Children’s Resource Program staff and donors are able to weave a safety net that brings compassion, relief and healing.
We are fortunate that we belong to a philanthropic community that understands that our children, regardless of their economic status, will become the adults of the future- our future.
An anonymous poet once wrote, “the purpose of life is not to be happy, but to matter, to be productive, to be useful, and to make a difference that you lived at all’. Our children’s future is only brighter because you all have made the difference!