Our Blog

FINISH STRONG

May 19th, 2017

May brings back a host of memories of completing the school semester and taking finals.  As I drive through the TCU campus, I almost shudder recalling the years of taking finals and the stress accompanying them.  As I watch my own daughter prepare for her high school finals, the stress she is under permeates our home.  (not at all fun for our family of six)

My encouragement to all of our patients who are pursuing education is to Finish Strong.  You will survive finals and make it to the summer.  The question remaining is, "Will you provide your best effort?”  There are a host of reasons to Finish Strong: achieving the grade you desire, genuine interest in the subject matter, the hope of making your teacher proud, and fulfilling the expectations your parents have requested. Most of the meaningful accomplishments in my life came through hard work and determination.  I was a good student, but not a great one.  I was one of those guys who had to work HARD.  (How I envied some of my buddies who seemed to never crack books and still fly by with A’s and B’s.) Though honestly, I do not know anyone who made it through their school years without a few bumps along the way.  I can almost guarantee you will experience disappointment.  I know I did.  Thus, please do not let a professor, teacher, instructor, or grade define you.

I had one of my favorite professors in college tell me, "The only reason you are pursuing dentistry is because you want to be a doctor."  I was devastated.  I thought he knew me better and the goals I had in my life. At that point, I had a choice.  Would his opinion "define me," or would I allow this to simply be a "defining moment". I chose the latter. This became a moment in which I determined to prove his words a lie.  I searched my heart and validated my reasons behind my career choice, and I work harder to become who I knew God had called me to be.  This bump became a defining moment for me in a very positive way.

Thank goodness I chose to pursue my heart’s calling and not let one person or his opinion of me take me out.  As your orthodontist, I desire to provide you with the best smile imaginable and encourage you to pursue your dreams.  I know you can Finish Strong with hard work and a little sacrifice.  For me, the sacrifices I made are worth it everyday. I have the privilege of being your orthodontist, getting to know your heart, and seeing you achieve your goals. Choose for those bumps in life (those crummy grades, those not so understanding teachers, those circumstantial friends, and those personal mistakes along the way) to simply become teachable moments.  Remember, they do not define you.  You are bigger and your dreams are reachable.  Finish Strong, friends!

Egg Hunt - HEART Hunt

April 14th, 2017

The coolness of fresh cut grass paves the path beneath the tiny feet of little ones running around on a peaceful Sunday afternoon, searching for hidden treasures in grandma’s backyard. It’s that time of year again, the annual Easer Egg Hunt has begun.

Most of us have participated, witnessed, or at least heard of this fun festivity that coincides with the celebration of the resurrection of Jesus Christ- the savior of the world who conquered death so that we who believe in Him can have eternal life! From coloring eggs, cute decorations, Easter egg hunting, presents from the Easter bunny, family dinners, or simply attending a Church service, tradition matters to us all.

But perhaps a verse from 2 Chronicles 16 can bring new sentiment to this year’s Easter Egg Hunt:

Picture eager children racing through the yard, looking expectantly to find an egg full of some glorious, candy-filled treasure. Running from egg to egg, throwing out the empty ones and anxiously awaiting the moment they hit the jackpot. Then I just imagine our loving Father!

The eyes of God search the depths of the human heart, waiting for one fully committed to His purposes so He can show Himself strong to them. Just as a child shouts for joy upon finally finding an egg full of treasures, so the loving Father rejoices when He discovers a son or daughter devoted to Him! This treasure is much more precious than candy, it’s the greatest gift we could offer- a heart fully committed to Him. Therein lies a faith proved of more worth than gold. Oh how God takes pleasure in those who delight in Him!

As God looks across the earth… what will He find when He opens your heart? Whatever it may be, know that by grace through faith in Jesus, the Father can smile upon you as His child. He is our true treasure, greater than anything you can find in a plastic egg or Easter basket. Our eternal Hope of glory looks for us, may we be found faithful to Him!

By: Hope Kiser

Forwarded by Dr. Kelley and Kelley Orthodontics

Inspired by our friends at Scriptionery.com

Everyone has a Story - Read Caylin's

April 4th, 2017


The thing I love most about what I do is “reading and experiencing” so many true life biographies in the people I meet, those I am blessed to live life with while they are in treatment under my care.  Every one of my patients could be a blog post. Truly. If I dig deep enough and ask the right questions; If I listen to their words and read their nonverbal cues, I find everyone has a unique, sometimes difficult, and in the end beautiful story.

Caylin Moore has one of those stories, an inspirational story that makes you want to read it over and over. “Inspiritational”, because in the end, Caylin is an over-comer; he has been rescued and he has rescued others through his story. In the end there is great victory. But meet Caylin face to face and visit with him authentically, and you will learn that his inspirational story came with great price, great perseverance, great faith, and as Caylin proudly claims, divine intervention.

Caylin Moore is a TCU graduate and 2017 Rhode Scholar! He is one of the most humble, compassionate, driven, and inspiring young men I have ever met.  It is a privilege and honor to call Caylin my friend and patient. I look forward to seeing the continual impact he will have on this world and reading the “rest of his story” as he follows his dreams and pursues God’s bigger calling in his life.

Below is an article written by ESPN about Caylin Moore.  It is definently worth the read.

http://www.espn.com/college-football/story/_/id/18358380/the-remarkable-story-tcu-rhodes-scholar-caylin-moore

5 Years of LIVING THANKFULLY

November 16th, 2016

It is hard to believe that we are actually celebrating our 5th year with Live Thankfully. What started with just a few Thanksgiving turkeys has grown into a movement across our city.  I am constantly asked how Live Thankfully came to be and what our vision is when it comes to LT in the future.  Honestly, when I reflect over the past 5 years, I don’t know how we got here or how in the world LT continues to keep growing with such momentum.  I just know that God continues to bless our efforts, cover our many mistakes, and graciously bring us folks to guide us and serve alongside us.

John often refers to Live Thankfully as our "accidental nonprofit" (or my very expensive hobby). Never in a million years did I think we would have started and been running a  charitable organization.  Don’t let this blog or social media posts fool you. The nonprofit world falls way short of glamorous. Startup nonprofits require a ton of work, cause a significant amount of stress, cost a lot of money, and are never ending. Yet our reasons for continuing to press on are anything but accidental – they are completely intentional.

You see, Live Thankfully is not just about serving meals, we are about preparing young hearts for service.  (Turkeys and cans are simply the conduits!)

What began as a way of marketing Kelley Orthodontics has turned into a four-part service project involving the entire community.  In the past, before LT, Kelley Orthodontics gave turkeys to John’s referring dentists around the holidays. In 2012, we decided to redirect our efforts and reach out to families in our neighboring schools who were struggling to put a Thanksgiving meal on the table.   That year, with the support of our dental community, we gave 60 meals to families in need.  Five years later, we are giving approximately 600 meals to families adopted through 20+ Fort Worth schools, Gill Children Services (an organization John faithfully serves with professionally), and 2 local churches.

Leadership training takes place in all of our Live Thankfully schools throughout the academic year. The process begins with education and changing the way kids think about service and giving.  LT volunteers spend numerous hours in our partnering schools, mentoring student leaders, and teaching them how to conduct successful food drives.  We teach kids that they have the power to create positive change in their communities.

Not every child can be a superstar academically, but every child can serve.  The evidence of a good leader is service.

Food drives are conducted the month of November in our partnering schools and business offices. LT volunteers pick up these heavy boxes of food weekly, transfer them to our storage unit where students of that campus organize them for our packaging party.  Our food drives collect enough food to fill 2500 bags of groceries and donate another 5000 plus food items to local area food banks.

Packaging Party: Live Thankfully hosts a party in which volunteers from the community come together to package the groceries collected from our LT local food drives. This party takes place on the Sunday evening prior to Thanksgiving.

I am constantly blown away by who shows up to sort and bag the food.  There is no discrimination of age, religion, socioeconomics, physical abilities, or race.  This, to me, is the most beautiful part of Live Thankfully. A person simply volunteering their time may be serving next to another who is actually receiving a meal. Since those receiving meals serve alongside those who give, students recognize the needs around them, compassion increases, relationships strengthen, and our community solidifies.

Thanksgiving Dinner Distribution: Thanksgiving dinners, purchased through Live Thankfully, are given to families selected by our partnering schools’ counselors. Each family receives a full meal along with 2 bags of groceries from our packaging party.  These families are chosen based on financial, emotional, and physical needs.  Our counselors are diligent to follow up with these families throughout the school year.  We offer resources and collaborate with other nonprofits to help these families get back on their feet.

Every participating school has teachers and administrators present to give the meals to their adopted families.  We desire to tears down walls of distrust and builds bridges of trust between those in need and those who are able to help.  This starts in the micro-communities of the schools with the teachers, administrators, and fellow students meeting the needs of their own school families.

So what do I envision for the future? I truly am open to anything.  We simply pray that the Lord will organically grow Live Thankfully as He desires: that He would bring the financial support, the manpower, the resources we need to continue being the hands and feet of service in our local schools and community.

We are considering saying “yes” to more schools next year. And saying, “yes” to having more than one site for our packaging party and meal pick-up.  This would allow others in the community to realistically join us in service, thus maintaining dignity and pride in those we bless with meals.

I have a vision of providing some type of paid stipend or job for the single moms who receive our meals (a sort of income generating activity).

We provide a smaller scale leadership opportunity on our school campuses during the spring called Created for Compassion. But I would love to see LT offer another large community involved service project in late May or early summer.

I envision a Live Thankfully summer day camp. Young leaders, both kids “of plenty” and kids at risk for failing or dropping out of school, would come together for a week or two. We would pour into them and challenge them in areas of service. They would problem solve and work together for the betterment of their schools and community.

So, I am a visionary. (It’s amazing what you learn about yourself when you take on something new.) I have been so blessed to find and hire an incredible Executive Director who comes alongside me, keeps me on track, makes sure we are staying within our mission, and doing what we were called to do WELL, before moving forward.

I have no idea where Live Thankfully will be tomorrow. I just know that I have fallen completely in love with the teachers, administrators, and kids of our public schools. I see the chains they wear because of governmental red tape and ridiculous testing requirements. I see children who have so much potential, so much character, so much to offer our society, being crushed in spirit because they don't fit into a box.  Live Thankfully gives our schools a diffent kind of box - one that is moldable and pliable. The schools can change and manipulate it based on the needs of their students and the conditions of their individual schools.

I have been told numerous times by our teachers that they have witnessed transformation in the students that are actively involved with LT.  For some, Live Thankfully is the only place they feel successful in school. Through Live Thankfully, they experience the joy of hands on learning and the excitement of discovery. They  come to believe that they are so much more than a test score, and that academics don't always get in the way of a good education. These kids are coming alive and so are their campuses during Live Thankfully season!

So this is what keeps me going. This is why we can’t stop, why we can’t throw in the towel when I desperately (at times) want to go back to simply giving turkeys to dentists. Running a fulltime nonprofit is HARD.  It is HARD HARD HARD.  But  nothing worth fighting for doesn’t come with difficulties, with trials, with sweat and tears. Right? These kids are worth fighting for, our schools are worth fighting for, and our community is indeed worth fighting for. Spend just a few hours in our Fort Worth schools, look past the system and see the faces.  You too will be hooked!

In one sentence: Live Thankfully is a life style. Won’t you live thankfully too? livethankfully.org

(click image below for 5 year annivesary video)

Guest blogger: Alison Kelley (aka: Dr. Kelley's bride) pictured below with Executive Director, Sarah Nader

A Few of Our Smiles


What our Patients are Saying


"John Kelley has partnered with us in transforming the H.O.P.E. Farm Boys into men. Kelley Orthodontics has the ability to help our boys develop confidence in their appearances and more importantly their characters. The Kelley Orthodontics team has been an irreplaceable instrument in the success of our program. John Kelley and the Crew… you are the best! "

"Professionalism and efficiency usually don't mix well with warm hospitality, but somehow at Dr. Kelley's office you find it blended comfortably together at every visit. Dr. Kelley not only takes his work seriously but also his relationship with you, the patient. You will not find a more friendly, helpful staff anywhere. "

"When I first found out I was getting braces, I got kind of worried, but Dr. Kelley explained everything to me step by step and made sure I knew how to treat minor pokes or pains in my teeth. They also provided me with toothbrushes and floss just for braces and taught me how to use them. The staff is really friendly and they're really good at accommodating me to where I don't miss anything big at school. Kelley Orthodontist has done a great job helping me with my braces! "

"I personally like it when I go to the orthodontist. When all the other kids at school say, 'I have to go to the orthodontist today,' the usual responses are, 'Hope you come back alive!' or 'That stinks!' But my response is, 'Who do you have?' The reason all the kids hate orthodontics is because they don't have Dr.Kelley! The staff is amazing, they don't put pointy things into your mouth, and they make the appointments quick and fast. Thank you Dr. Kelley for making a place that makes my mouth good as new!"

"We have been so grateful for Dr. Kelley's orthodontic care of our children. His kindness in dealing with our family, thorough medical expertise, and friendly office staff have made this office feel like a second family. Three of our children have been through orthodontics with Dr. Kelley, and not only are their smiles fabulous, but they even enjoy going to the office for visits. We have full confidence in Dr. Kelley's treatment of our children's individual orthodontic needs, and for one of our children in particular have seen significant progress that will likely keep him from surgery down the road. Because orthodontics requires frequent visits and check ups, we are all the more thankful for such a fantastic orthodontist and office staff to spend time with."

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