Fort Wayne, Ind. (WANE) – A Fort Wayne dentist and his colleagues do a lot more than pull teeth and fill cavities.They help put smiles on the faces of hundreds of poverty-stricken people who live almost three-thousand miles away. Dr. Tom Blake began providing free dental care to the people of Comayagua, Honduras 17 years ago. WANE-TV was there for a special report on the trip we called The Vision: Hoosiers in Honduras.
“When we first started out it was two dentists from the Fort Wayne area and now this year it’s 15 dentists from nine different states, so it’s grown dramatically,” says Dr. Blake. “I first went in 2000 but I was just a rookie at that stage.”
Fast-forward 17 years and the rookie is now an organizer. “In 2008 we became a 501 (c) 3, a non-profit organization and named ourselves Sonrisas Siempre.” Sonrisas Siempre translated means Smiles Always. Dr. Blake estimates that during the one week he and his group are there, they provide more than $100 thousand dollars worth of free dental work.
The next trip in 2018 is scheduled for January 26th through February 3rd.