Dental equipment gets donated to a local group who send it on to people in the Philippines - everyone won.

News 100 yellowBy Pepper Parr

November 15th, 2018



A patient at what is now Roseland Dental learned that the offices were being moved and asked what would happen to all the equipment. She was told that it would probably get sent to a dump somewhere – there was no market in Canada for dated and used dental equipment.

Some may have known of the dental office as Dr. Dave Dental

The patient mentioned to the dental staff that she knew of an organization, Sew on Fire, that could put the equipment to very good use somewhere else in the world.

That’s how a connection was made that has the dental equipment in a container on its way to the Philippines where it will be set up and put to very good use.

There is quite a bit more depth to this good news story.

Wendy Hager, the woman who leads Sew on Fire, is one of those people that is hard to stop.

From the left: Michelle Bennett Environment, Sam Kawazoye Community Service, Trevor Copp Arts , Mayor Goldring, Wendy Hager, Citizen of the Year, Dan Taylor Junior Citizen and Jim Frizzle, Senior of the year.

From the left: Michelle Bennett Environment, Sam Kawazoye Community Service, Trevor Copp Arts , Mayor Goldring, Wendy Hager, Citizen of the Year, Dan Taylor Junior Citizen and Jim Frizzle, Senior of the year.


When she sees an opportunity she moves quickly and manages to move or get around the obstacles.

She has been running Sew on Fire for 18 years. She was the city’s choice for the Citizen of the Year in 2011.

In February, 2000, after a 40 day fast and hearing of the work of a missionary working with orphans in Russia after the fall of communism and the support system of that country, Wendy wanted to do more than just put money in the offering plate. She purposed to sew 100 gift bags, pajamas, mittens and fill those gift bags with hygiene and school supplies for an orphanage in Russia. Her passion was contagious and soon people were arriving at her home to help. 100 quickly multiplied into 1725 gift bags.

But things did not stop there.

After 3 years working from her home, Wendy and Sew on Fire were able to share space with Crossroads Global Activity Centre in Burlington. In 2007 Sew on Fire moved to its own facility, a 3,000 sq ft unit.

In 2011 doubled its space to 6,000 square feet with room for 15 activity centres, more storage, more volunteers and more gift bags to bless those in need.

Dentist chair 1

A perfectly functional dental chair is on the way to the Philippines because a local organization and a dental group found each other.

Dr. David Robertson and Dr. Stephen Brooks had merged their dental practices and had purchased new equipment for the new location in the Roseland Plaza. They had hoped they could find a home for the older equipment that was functional – they were using it up until the day they moved.

dental 2a

The second dental chair with x-ray equipment was part of the donation.

When she was told that the dental equipment was available and was she interested and could she do anything with perfectly functional dental equipment she said: . “My first response was to just say yes! I wanted the whole donation, but she checked first with her mission partner who works in Philippines.

She put in a call to Dick Deviries asking if he knew of anyone that could use the equipment. Devries and his wife Liz had worked in the Philippines doing missionary work there for a number of years.

Dick Devries said he needed a day or two and would get back to Wendy.  Dick Devries was thrilled. Said it was “an answer to prayer” and asked her to “please say yes and accept this donation”.

A home had been found for the equipment.

On a very hot August day, Wendy Hager reports “my husband Jeff and I, Dick Devries and his team we dismantled the whole office that was being used up to the day before. We accepted two dental chairs and all of equipment and all the additional furniture, three X-ray machines. Everything necessary to run a dental office.

It was later put into a container along with other goods that were going to the Philippines.

This is a story that is still unfolding” said Hager who added “I’m hopeful that other dentists will one day be inspired and take the opportunity to go and share their gifts and talents and do the free dental care in the Philippines.

Dr. Bob Peeling, one of the Rotarians who got the annual Rotary RibFest off the ground 25 years ago, is a retired dentist.

He has some ideas on how dentists in Burlington just might be able to deliver on the Wendy Hager idea.


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