“Supporting kids on the fringe;” why we give through p:ear core
Meet p:ear supporters Angela and Dr. Patrick Sherrard, DMD, who provide an incredible service for p:ear youth by helping select young folk take the next steps into dental health. They’re also monthly donors through p:ear core. Why do they believe in p:ear’s mission and work?
“We were introduced to p:ear by an artist friend, Joe Thurston. We love and believe in art and its ability to make lives better in many different ways. Our dental office is full of paintings and photography of local artists. Allowing p:ear youth to express themselves with art and giving them an outlet that way is valuable in many ways. We also loved that p:ear makes sure that good food is available whenever these kids need it without restriction. We immediately saw that p:ear is different from other programs, that they are determined to not let these youth be forgotten, and that through art, education and a full belly they were a positive force for change in Portland.
We decided to offer our dental services to select youth because we believe that no one can proceed with their life if they are in pain and can’t eat or sleep.
We believe in p:ear because they help youth see who they really are, and that when they are in a warm and safe place, where their basic needs are being met and they can finally breathe, that they can envision a future for themselves.
We also appreciate that they work with a specific age group, 15-24 year olds, that are particularly vulnerable. Their programs are so strong because they have a specific niche that may not get served by the existing services available in Portland.
Being from Salem, not everyone knows what p:ear is, but I find it easy to explain it to them: ‘You know that lone, talented kid who slips through the cracks? The one who doesn’t have a home or anyone to support them? Thats who p:ear works with – the kids on the fringe. They pick them up off the street and give them the adult support they need and deserve. And sometimes that’s all a kid needs: the knowledge that an adult cares and won’t take advantage of them’.”