Dentist Dedicated to Giving Free Care to Foster Kids

Here at Wednesday's Child we know of a number of top-notch foster care programs, especially Girls and Boys Town. This week, it's not them so much we want to profile, but someone else -- someone who supports them in a quiet, important way.

Going to the dentist is hard on parents and children. But if you knew the dental care you were getting is free, wouldn't that make a difference?

That's a fine point that Autumn, sitting in the patient chair, probably fails to appreciate. Dan Patten, her foster parent, is a family teacher with Girls and Boys Town and he understands the commitment dentist Mark Escoto is making.

"He doesn't have to. So it makes you realize that there's people who are more involved, who have more going on than just seeking after their own interests," Dan said.

Escoto has quietly worked for years to help disadvantaged children with free dental care. Girls and Boys Town fit perfectly into his plan.

"It's been a good fit because, you know, they've been really appreciative of what we do. And for me, it's a real impressionable age for children having a good and healthy smile," said Dr. Mark Escoto.

Dr. Escoto makes time in his busy schedule and genuinely enjoys his pro-bono patients as a mission for giving back.

"It's you know, part of doing what we do here for the community. [The] community's been good to me. I grew up here. I've been here most of my life, all my life, actually, and so giving back is just another part, and saying thank you," the dentist continued.

Dan sees Escoto's donation as part of a greater community of support.

"...And that's kind what Girls and Boys Town is all about. Everybody that's involved in this organization -- from what I've seen -- is really looking after other people. And in this world, I think that's a noble cause for anybody, whether you're making very little money or making a lot. If you feel good at the end of the day, like you've helped out, I feel that it's all worthwhile, and I feel that Dr. Escoto probably feels the same way," the family teacher continued.

Girls and Boys Town has a campus of 5 homes with 6 foster kids each and a temporary shelter care facility that can hold about 20 in addition to providing parent education and family preservation programs.


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