Thanks to OC Times Readers, Blind Theft Victim Gets Dentures and Donations
(Cheryl Weiss & Crystal A. Proxmire, Sept. 6, 2019)
Royal Oak, MI- This morning, Frank Sawicki got his dentures!
Sawicki is a blind man who sits in the Walgreens parking lot at Woodward Avenue and Coolidge Highway selling pens to pay for the $840 a month hotel room that he lives in. Last month while he had stepped into the drug store, someone stole his bag which contained pens, money, and his dentures.
Oakland County Times had written a profile of Sawicki in June which resulted in dozens of people stopping by to buy pens. This time the community came together in a big way, raising over $5,000 through a GoFundMe, as well as people stopping by with donations.
The staff of Amazing Dental in Garden City heard the story and stepped up to make new dentures for Sawicki at no cost. They gave him dentures and other surprises Friday morning.
Dr. Nawras Najor and Dr. Atheer Jassim from Amazing Dental, Garden City saw an opportunity to help someone who was in need and couldn’t afford dentures because of the insurance restrictions.
Dr. Najor and Dr. Jassim choose one patient a month to give free dental services out of the thousands of stories that get submitted to Amazing Dental. Although Francis was not a current patient, they felt compelled to help. Francis received his new denture today and he was all smiles from the moment the new dentures were delivered. The Amazing Dental team also raised $1,000.00 between themselves to give to Francis for anything else he might need.
People in the Garden City area are welcome to submit their stories to be considered for dental treatment as well. The email is firstname.lastname@example.org. Their website is www.amazingdentalgroup.com.
Sawicki has been overwhelmed by the outpouring, and is very grateful. “I think they’re wonderful! I don’t think anyone else would do that. It was really surprising, but they did. This is a very good community.”
He’s not sure how much money he received in person. The GoFundMe raised $5,638. Brandon Kolo, a Royal Oak resident, set up the GoFundMe and is using the money to pre-pay Sawicki’s hotel room. When asked if he wanted help finding a permanent apartment or senior living, Sawicki declined. “There’s too much that happens in those senior apartments. I like where I am. He [the manager] keeps it a good place; it’s quiet here.”
Kolo felt compelled to act. “I think it’s important to help those in need. This was a very easy thing to put together that could have a large impact on someones life,” Kolo said. “I decided to help after reading the article in Oakland County Times. I was going to bed and just felt so bad for Frank. In the past I worked with people who both used dentures and were home insecure. I know how important it was to have a proper set of dentures, and how it changed the person life when they got theirs. I know your story would get a good amount of reads, and thought if there was a link to a GoFundMe, maybe some people would help. Never did I expect it to take off the way it did, but it really shows what a great community we have.”
Story of the Blind Man Selling Pens in the Walgreen’s Parking Lot (June 7, 2018)
Dentures and More Stolen from Blind Man who Peddles Pencils at Walgreens in Royal Oak (Aug. 27, 2019)