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Delta Dental offers support to Reelfoot Rural Ministries

Delta Dental offers support to Reelfoot Rural Ministries
Delta Dental offers support to Reelfoot Rural Ministries | Delta Dental offers support to Reelfoot Rural Ministries
Staff Reporter
Tucked away in the rolling hills of southwest Obion County, Reelfoot Rural Ministries provides a vital role in helping the underprivileged in that area.
The non-profit agency actually serves residents of Obion, Lake and Dyer counties in northwest Tennessee and Fulton County, Ky.
Last week, Reelfoot Rural Ministries received a significant donation from Delta Dental — a $10,000 check to help the agency’s dental program.
The agency’s dental program is one of 18 programs operated to help the less fortunate in rural areas across the four-county region.
Reelfoot Rural Ministries also provides eye care services, emergency services for children and adults, meals for children and adults, a Christmas toy store, a day care center and a thrift store and this past year provided nearly 500 children with school supplies. The agency also sponsors senior trips and hosts volunteer work camps.
The faith-based agency relies heavily on public support and donations from agencies like Delta Dental. Reelfoot Rural Ministries is a mission program of the Memphis Conference of the United Methodist Church.
According to a news release, Delta Dental of Tennessee supports local, regional and statewide non-profits that share similar missions, visions and values.
Representatives of Delta Dental were given a complete tour of the Reelfoot Rural Ministries complex off Minnick-Elbridge Road last Thursday afternoon. Following the tour by executive director Michael Blake, the Delta Dental delegation presented him with the $10,000 check.
Reelfoot Rural Ministries was started 44 years ago and has helped thousands of children, adults and elderly through its many programs.
In the 12-month period ending in June 2012, Reelfoot Rural Ministries had provided more than 5,300 meals to homebound adults and more than 4,800 meals to senior citizens.
The ministry’s eye care clinic opened in July 2012, while the dental clinic opened in April 2008. Dentists volunteer to work at the clinic twice a month and perform such services as fillings and extractions.
The dental clinic is funded under an agreement with the state Department of Health and patients do have to pay a $15 fee for their dental visit.
“Our programs have a strict application process for the low and very-low income families and individuals that Reelfoot Rural Ministries serves,” a brochure states.
Included in the Reelfoot Rural Ministries brochure is the agency’s mission statement, which says in part, “In Christian love, we seek to provide personal encouragement, material assistance, helpful training and spiritual guidance to children, the elderly and low-income families … in a manner than enhances self-esteem and encourages self-support.”
Delta Dental’s history dates back nearly 60 years, according to the agency’s website.
“In 1954, dentists who recognized the need to increase access to oral health care formed dental health care organizations in California, Oregon and Washington,” the website states. “Today, Delta Dental Plans Association is comprised of 39 independent Delta Dental companies operating in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.”
Staff Reporter Kevin Bowden may be contacted by email at Published in The Messenger 1.28.13

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