Dr. Andrew J. Leland talk with a boy

Leland Orthodontics is all about putting your best smile forward, but sometimes it takes more than braces or clear aligners to achieve that. We all need a helping hand from time to time, and our practice is proud to uplift the families in our community throughout the year. While we do that in ways both big and small, Dr. Leland had a special request for our team heading into 2022: decide on a local charity or other organization to focus on in the upcoming months. After submitting our choices and voting on our top picks, RAVE was the eventual winner!  

What’s RAVE?

We’re glad you asked! RAVE was established in Reno over 25 years ago with the goal of preventing the abuse and neglect of children with special needs or disabilities. The acronym stands for Respite and Volunteer Experiences, which explains how they are able to achieve their target: by training youth volunteers to provide Nevada families with much-needed respite as they care for young children with disabilities, special health care needs, and children in foster care.

According to the American Psychological Association, about 30% of adult Americans are family caregivers for an ill, aging, or disabled relative. Family caregiving can be intense, as it comes with additional challenges that aren’t a concern for those involved with professional caregiving. The most obvious example is that family caregivers are not paid a wage for their work, even though it can take up many hours of their day. This can be difficult for families who would typically rely on the income of full-time jobs. Since most family caregivers don’t have much free time, it can be a struggle to strike a healthy balance between work, life, and caregiving. 

Caring for a loved one also tends to be emotionally challenging. Caring for a child with special needs or disabilities at home can lead to stress or tension within a family, even when the caregiving experience is ultimately positive. On top of feeling mentally and emotionally drained, acting as a child’s caregiver can also be physically exhausting. There is often very little opportunity to truly rest, and as most of us know, being perpetually tired can make everything else seem impossible. This is why respite organizations such as RAVE serve as an important resource for many families! 

Who qualifies for RAVE’s services?

RAVE provides an essential break to caregivers of children with disabilities, special health care needs, children in foster care, and their siblings. Getting a short break from their hard work for brief periods allows caregivers to recharge their batteries, reducing stress and helping prevent burnout. Their programs are designed to serve Northern Nevada families caring for loved ones from 3 months to 22 years of age. These family members may have a diagnosed disability, special health care needs, or be children in foster care. RAVE also serves siblings in the home who are considered to be typically developing. 

By offering temporary emotional relief from the constant care and loving attention these families selflessly give their children, RAVE allows a much-needed reprieve that strengthens the quality of care parents and guardians can deliver. When given time to relax, unwind, or enjoy activities not normally available to them, caregivers can return to their essential role for these children with a renewed spirit! RAVE not only provides necessary breaks for caregivers but offers center- and community-based programs that allow children to just be kids in a safe, fun, and social environment.  

How Leland Orthodontics is helping RAVE meet its goals

Since its inception, RAVE has consistently worked towards expanding its impact on Northern Nevada. Although the organization began with a specific focus on helping families caring for young children with disabilities, it has evolved into a multifaceted group that can now serve children and young adults with disabilities as well as children in foster care. Because RAVE is all about strengthening and maintaining families, they also provide care for siblings of the children they serve if they fall into the same age range.

RAVE has done excellent and essential work for many years, but they want to make a difference in even more lives across Nevada. Their current goals include significantly increasing enrollment for families and children at the RAVE Family Center as well as upping their volunteer numbers. Over 9,000 children in Northern Nevada have been diagnosed with a special need, and RAVE wants to help them all! So do we, and that’s why we’ll be working all year long to help this organization expand its positive impact in Reno and throughout the state.

Leland Orthodontics: giving Reno something to smile about

Did you know that our practice has been donating $30 to RAVE for every new patient who starts orthodontic treatment in June? This is a wonderful way for patients to get involved with our charitable efforts, as they are contributing to an amazing local organization while working towards a beautiful new smile. We will have other specials throughout 2022 to help benefit RAVE and the families they serve in Northern Nevada. If you aren’t following us on social media already, be sure to like our pages so you can keep up with our ongoing RAVE campaigns! Thank you for helping us support special families.