They came by the hundreds, all to get admission to a dental clinic in Roanoke for next week. It’s another start to the Mission of Mercy clinic, but this year, they have to wait in line twice.
The line started before dawn.
“I got here around twelve-thirty last night,” says Levita Fitzgerald, who was first in line.
The yearly dental clinic hosted by Mission of Mercy draws people from across Southwest Virginia, but today, there's no work being done, just tickets handed out.
“I’m here because I don’t have dental insurance,” says Pat Nichols of Roanoke. “I have other cavities and fillings that need to be taken care of.”
What’s different this year is everyone has to get a ticket to go to next week’s services. The thought is that makes the process more streamlined.
“The idea came from that long line down Williamson Road [last year,]” says Mission of Mercy project leader, Alison Jorgensen. “That’s happened for the past three years with previous projects, nobody likes that line.”
Amanda Tate came from Martinsville and says she's ashamed of her teeth.
Amanda Tate, Martinsville: “I have that negative feeling as far as when it comes to dealing with my mouth and I just like to smile,” says Tate. “It’s just a negative and I’m blessed to get it fixed, I’m just blessed.”
900 tickets were given out, which still left a large crowd without, including Tanisha Reddicks.
“But thank God that the ones they did, did get the tickets,” she says. “So thank God for that.”