Yad Sarah is an Israeli nationwide network of volunteers aiding needy, disabled and elderly people. The organization relies on volunteers and provides many essential services which are not covered by the government, such as lending medical equipment, day rehabilitation centers, transportation for the disabled and geriatric dental services. Through Yad Sarah, professional dentists in Jerusalem volunteer to serve the underprivileged elderly, an act of volunteering that expresses social solidarity and willingness to contribute.
Avraham Zini and Harold D. Sgan-Cohen, two leading dental experts in Jerusalem, decided to explore ways to improve the satisfaction among volunteer dentists – for the benefit of the health care providers and the community recipients. Towards this goal, they surveyed 67 dentists currently volunteering on a regular basis at the Yad Sarah geriatric dental clinic in Jerusalem. In this feature story, e-Volunteerism presents the results of Zini and Sgan-Cohen’s research, outlining the main reasons that lead Israeli dentists to volunteer. Their article reviews the aspects of dental volunteering efforts that fulfilled expectations, and which areas proved less than satisfactory. This important research provides a unique look inside a volunteer experience that is rarely made available to the public.