Volunteer Voices

Lorraine Dietrich receiving recognition at the 2012 Golden Heart Volunteer Celebration for her service to the Ministry Door County Dental Clinic. Photo courtesy of Matt Normann Photography.

It always amazes me how the littlest of things can end up making the biggest of differences. All it took was a note in a newsletter asking for some help with receptionist duties at Ministry Door County Dental Clinic, and Lorraine Dietrich was on her way to doing what we all want to do…make a difference.

For the past three years, Dietrich has checked children in, helped shoot X-rays and made up thousands of bags filled with toothbrushes, toothpaste, floss and coloring books.

“I love working with children,” said Dietrich. “There are so many kids who don’t know how to take care of their teeth or don’t even know that they need to!”

Dietrich continued, “When kids come into the clinic (which services children two to 18 years of age in Door and Kewaunee Counties), they don’t know what to expect. I tell them that the dentist will tell them all about the instruments and that they won’t hurt their mouth. It’s wonderful to get to meet these kids and to see how they react when their problems get fixed.”

Dietrich remembers growing up and not being able to go to the dentist herself because they couldn’t afford it. “There was no program like this back then,” she said. “Now we have the service, but there are still too many children out there who are suffering and don’t need to be.”

There’s absolutely no question that Dietrich loves what she does at the clinic. She said, “These kids have such beautiful faces, but some don’t even smile.”

And that is something that Dietrich is out to change.

“People need to reach out and care for other people,” she said. “Even touching someone’s hand shows that you care. The Dental Clinic allows us to get these kids on the right track and lets me make a difference in a small way.”

Lorraine Dietrich is making a difference every time she greets a new patient, all because someone put a little note in a newsletter. Did you know that the number one reason people volunteer is because someone asked? Consider yourself officially asked – please!

To volunteer at Ministry Door County Dental Clinic or for information regarding their services, please contact them at 920.493.1300.

For additional volunteer opportunities in Door County, please visit the Volunteer Center website at or contact the Volunteer Center at 920.746.7704 to request a Volunteer Guide.