"Mission of Mercy" Called Success - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

4/24/04-Smith County

"Mission of Mercy" Called Success

A program providing free health care winded down Saturday.

Texas Mission of Mercy is a statewide program providing free dental, medical, and eye care to those who, in many cases, just can't afford it otherwise.

It's the third time the free clinic has been held in East Texas and the popularity of the event continues to grow. Organizers estimate about 800 people were seen at this year's clinic.

A majority of the work is done on folks needing dental care. From caps to fillings and even custom made dentures, it all comes free of charge. Organizers say they're happy to help.

"We've had a great response from the patients that have presented themselves," said Sue Thornton, Director, Texas Dentists for Healthy Smiles "They've been incredibly grateful."

"We always see these incredibly touching stories of people who literally, some have waited in pain for the last two years since we were here in Tyler last to get their dental needs taken care of."

The free clinic is sponsored by "Texas Dentists for Healthy Smiles". Organizers say about half a million dollars of free care was given this weekend.

Chris Gibson, reporting

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