Good News Sunday: Dentist volunteers offer free care to patients

This is Good News Sunday, a compilation of some of the more upbeat and inspiring stories published recently by the Daily Herald.

About 10 years ago, when Christine Soderberg was going through tough times and needed help paying some bills, she learned about a DuPage County clinic that offered free dental services to qualified patients.

The Westchester resident has been a client of the CDS Foundation Dental Clinic in Wheaton ever since.

“I don’t know what I’d do without them,” said Soderberg, who since childhood has been fastidious about maintaining her teeth. “To have someone fairly close in the suburbs be so caring and kind, so welcoming and giving of their time, there are no words for it.”

The clinic is one of five organizations receiving grants from the Daily Herald and the Robert R. McCormick Foundation as part of the newspaper’s annual Neighbors in Need fundraising campaign.

Established by the Chicago Dental Society in 2008 to promote oral health literacy and provide no-cost dental care to low-income residents in Cook, DuPage and Lake counties, the CDS Foundation serves as the organization’s philanthropic arm. In 2013, volunteers established the CDS Foundation’s free clinic in Wheaton.

For every dollar donated, the volunteers provide $4 worth of dental care. “It’s an incredible place,” Soderberg said of the clinic.

For the full story, click here.

Barrington High student working to bring peer juries to suburban schools
Milana Carse

After working with a peer jury for three years, Milana Carse hopes to bring the restorative justice method to schools across the suburbs.

A peer jury is an alternative correction strategy for first-time, nonviolent juvenile offenders, said the 16-year-old junior at Barrington High School.

A council of peers asks the offending juveniles questions about what they have done and if they understand the implications of their actions, Carse said.

Punishment can involve community service and researching what being convicted of the crime would have meant if they weren’t minors. Teen offenders also could be asked to present their cases after a month for the offense to be expunged from their record, she added.

Carse has been a member of the Hoffman Estates Police Department’s peer jury for three years. She has dealt with cases of drug possession, school fights and other misdemeanors.

Barrington High School doesn’t have its own peer jury. Carse, who plans to study criminal justice in college. has developed a program which she is trying to get implemented there.

“I’ve learned a lot about how the justice system we have in America is often flawed, how much room there is for improvement,” Carse said.

For the full story, click here.

Batavia United Way launches Snow Angel program
Volunteers are needed to be Snow Angels, helping Batavia or Batavia Township residents in need by shoveling snow for them this winter. Courtesy of Batavia United Way

The Batavia United Way is bringing Snow Angels, a volunteer snow shoveling program, to Batavia.

They are pairing a volunteer Snow Angel with a nearby neighbor with limited mobility who needs help clearing their driveway of snow for the 2023-24 season (December to March).

Snow Angel volunteers shovel:

– When there’s two or more inches of snow;

– Within 24 hours of a snow event;

– Only the front sidewalk, driveway, and parkway sidewalk.

Along with fostering a stronger community, Snow Angels makes the community safer for those who are outside in winter weather, such as students and neighbors walking, city staff, postal workers, etc.

For the full story, click here.

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