Written by: Zac Cooper
When was the last time you flossed? Was it yesterday? Last month? Whenever it was, you probably understand why it is important. Flossing techniques are drilled into many of our heads, and we take it for granted as common knowledge. For individuals without such a background, gum infections and abscesses may be the standard way of life. Dr. Andy Flipse is one such individual who works towards equalizing this knowledge and access to dental care.
Initially trained to work in the music industry, Dr. Flipse went back to school in his mid-forties to become a dentist. He was the oldest student in his class at the University of Louisville School of Dentistry. Dr. Flipse notes that his guitar experience and having strong finger dexterity gave him a leg up on dentist students without musical backgrounds. His musical training supported the physicality of surgical procedures, and it also added to the psychological dimension of dentistry.
“You develop your heart in music,” Dr. Flipse explains. “You develop compassion, you have an open heart,” which all contributes to a more loving relationship with his patients.
Dr. Flipse volunteers at the Interfaith Dental Clinic, a Murfreesboro nonprofit that provides affordable dental care to the working poor. The clinic’s volunteers and full time workers have used its state-of-the-art gear to contribute over $5 million in care to over 2,500 patients. Dr. Flipse is honored for his outstanding volunteer work, contributing over 80 hours to the Interfaith Dental Clinic. However, he wants to be clear that he is not alone: “I am just one of many dentists who are passionate and selfless about volunteering their time.”
Nashville’s Volunteer of the Month is a program of Doing Good, a 501(c)3, nonprofit organization which educates and inspires people by celebrating the real stories of real people who volunteer. For additional information about Dr. Flipse, Doing Good, or other volunteers, visit the website www.DoingGood.tv or @DoingGoodTV on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, or YouTube.
Written by Zac Cooper
When people hear the word “non-profit,” it is more than likely that one of the first comments will be about the low salaries involved in community work. January’s Volunteer of the Month, Keena Alexander, is an example of a selfless individual who not only powers this community-building, but also understands its dire financials.
Keena grew up in Jackson, Mississippi and took pride in her community and city from a young age. She started working with Habitat for Humanity in high school and went on to earn a Master’s in Accountancy from the University of Mississippi. She currently works as a Senior Tax Analyst at Asurion.
As her main volunteering activity, Keena supports the United Way of Metropolitan Nashville, an organization which supports community development in the fields of education, financial stability, and health. To give you a sense of its magnitude within Nashville, United Way provided $7.5 million in community program investments in 2016.
Keena volunteers with the Allocations Board, so her job is to interview different Nashville nonprofits to find which ones would be the best fit for United Way’s funding. Her holistic understanding of organizational budgets, from an accounting mindset, has given her even more motivation to volunteer. After seeing the high expenses and low salaries in many of the nonprofits functioning in Nashville, Keena notes that we can all give back more; it’s just a matter of our priorities.
The legendary boxer Muhammed Ali inspired Keena when he said, “Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.” She says in paying this service, she has “learned how to cultivate a heart of gratitude.”
Nashville’s Volunteer of the Month is a program of Doing Good, a 501(c)3, nonprofit organization which educates and inspires people by celebrating the real stories of real people who volunteer. For additional information about Keena, Doing Good, or other volunteers, visit the website www.DoingGood.tv or @DoingGoodTV on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, or YouTube.