Weymouth resident Tom Lynch has a little different idea of a winter getaway. In March, he will visit Guatemala for the 12th time as part of La Fe en Práctica’s effort to bring medical treatment to the people of that country. Lynch, a retired attorney, will serve as a translator for the group of medical volunteers on the mission. For this effort, Tom Lynch has been named the recipient of The Smiling Neighbor award given by South Weymouth Dentist Dr. Richard Wolfert, DMD.
Lynch began volunteering for missions with La Fe en Práctica in 2012. His college roommate had told him about the group and Lynch saw an opportunity to put his fluency in Spanish to work—he had been in the Peace Corps more than 30 years ago before beginning his career as a corporate attorney. He made his first trip in 2012 and has gone on at least one trip per year every year since.
“I get a great satisfaction out of the number of people we are able to help, in upwards of 500 people per day,” said Lynch. “Over the course of one week, we will visit a number of rural areas to provide whatever care the people need—pediatric, OB/GYN, dentistry, you name it. The care we provide is free. If additional, more advanced treatment or surgery is needed for patients, our group arranges transport and care.”
The care for patients might be free, but volunteers pay their own way. That includes airfare and a daily stipend to cover living expenses.
“Well worth it,” said Lynch, a 30-year Weymouth resident. “After I retired in 2012, I was looking for something worthwhile to fill my plate and the effort to bring free medical care to these people in Guatemala certainly is that.”
For being selected as the Smiling Neighbor, Lynch had the choice of receiving a $50 gift card to Stockholders or a Sonicare Easy Clean model (he chose the toothbrush).
“Having volunteered dental care as part of Donated Dental Services (DDS), I have a deep appreciation for any effort that provides care for the less fortunate. To do so in an impoverished region of Guatemala as Tom and his fellow volunteers have done is even more commendable,” said Dr. Wolfert. “Tom is a very worthy recipient of our Smiling Neighbor Award.”
The Smiling Neighbor award is given out on a quarterly basis to citizens of Weymouth going above and beyond the call of duty for their fellow citizens. People can nominate a Smiling Neighbor by sending an e-mail of 200 words or less to firstname.lastname@example.org. Please remember to include your name and telephone number as well as the name and telephone number or e-mail of the person they are nominating. Nominations can also be sent to The Toothboss, 1121 Main Street, South Weymouth, MA 02190.
For more information on The Toothboss, visit Dr. Wolfert’s website at www.toothboss.com or call 781-335-0604 to schedule a consultation.