A Penticton dental clinic is hoping the community will help keep their vital services running.
The Henning Emergency Clinic of Kindness (HECK) dental clinic is hosting an online auction to support providing dental treatment to low and fixed income adults and seniors.
HECK is the only clinic that provides these services throughout the South Okanagan, and this is the only fundraiser this year to drum up support.
“Normally we do a gathering fundraiser and offer dinner, a silent auction and fun games, but this seems the way of the future here until we get things under control,” Greta Henning, the founder and current president of HECK said.
“It's tremendously important because were it not located here in the South Okanagan people would have no outlet to go if they had pain or infection.”
Henning explained the only service that would be available otherwise is the on call service at the hospital, which changes weekly with the dentists on call and charges their offices' prices for operational costs.
Often patients will go in for painkillers and not go back to get their dental issues addressed.
“They may not necessarily get treatment because they know they can't afford it,” she said. “We help them go through the process because we know if they don't treat the problem it's just a band-aid on a bad situation.”
But they need help to run the service, since it costs thousands of dollars to run their clinic for a day with wages, insurance and building costs.
“We apply for grants from different affiliations, but they're usually ear marked for certain projects or equipment and not just for general operations we do. So when we do a fundraiser that's where we can spend the money.”
Their current online auction is running until Dec. 19, with new items added to the auction list daily, which can be found here.
“The auction is a really fun way to help us out. There's some great prizes to be won, including a homemade quilt from the Penticton Quilters guild and certificates from wineries and restaurants,” Henning said.
This year the organization is also encouraging businesses that would usually spend money on a Christmas party to instead donate to a great cause or charity.
People in need can also go through the website to apply, which requires proof of low or fixed income.