July 30, 2021
This article is the third installment in our difference maker series.
While we have been highlighting individuals in the series this month, we now highlight a team of angels.
Hygienists for Humanity (H4H) was started in 2017 by Alicia Murria, RDH, MS(c). While attending a dental conference, Alicia couldn’t help but notice the homeless population around the conference center and wondered what she could do to make a difference. Then, when a sponsored lunch was finishing up, Alicia saw the piles of uneaten food and wondered where it went. And, as the conference was ending and Alicia noticed the exhibiting dental companies offloading products to avoid lugging them home, well, genius struck. Alicia decided to take all the things she noticed and do something. Hygienists For Humanity was born.
Since then, the organization has grown to a team of passionate volunteers and engaged partner companies. It’s an official 501(c)(3) organization with events going beyond distributing leftovers at dental conferences. The team has set up health kit giveaways in areas where persons experiencing homelessness congregate, and donating kits to schools, programs, and shelters, providing free screenings to those in need. It continues to grow in its reach.
The grand vision is to continue to expand on opportunities to reach neglected and underserved populations throughout the country, but not just once every few years like many dental missions. Hygienists for Humanity strives to help people on an ongoing basis.
Tiffany Harrison, RDH, strategic partnership liaison for H4H, says, “we want for these communities exactly what we want for ourselves and our patients. High-quality dental products and care. Not just a toothbrush once a year or an emergency visit, but a dental kit every three months and preventive care for a lifetime. H4H wants to create a sustainable program that gives access to quality healthcare (including oral care) to everyone who will take advantage of it.”
H4H has its first hands-on mission planned in partnership with Volunteers of America Mid-States in 2022. Moving forward, they are excited to continue to find ways to partner with organizations to meet their community’s needs.
The founding quote of H4H is by Luciano De Crescenzo
“We are each of us angels with only one wing, and we can only fly by embracing one another.”
Hygienists for Humanity recognizes that the greater mission of service cannot be done alone. There are underserved people everywhere. In order to know what the needs are and how to serve each unique community best, they have been growing their team of angels to well over 500. Each angel comes with their own gifts to pour into the organization and help it grow. All are welcome, and not everyone is dental! Coming together with our single wing will help us all fly.
There’s an African proverb that says, “If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together.”
That’s why this Difference Maker spotlight highlights the entire organization and encourages you to look into this opportunity to join the team of difference makers.
Need more information on how you can be the other wing? Check out Hygienists for Humanity at https://hygienistsforhumanity.org/
Amanda Hill, RDH, BS has been in the dental industry for over 30 years, she earned her B.S. in Dental Hygiene at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Virginia and has had the opportunity to experience dentistry around the world. Amanda has a love for learning and is obsessed with continuing education in all its many forms. Amanda practices part time clinically and is an industry educator for the nation’s largest dental job board, DentalPost.net. Amanda is a proud Navy spouse and mom of 3.