WEST ALLIS, WIS., March 19, 2014 – Eleven community outreach programs helped 3,960 children and adults across the state have healthier smiles after receiving $1,100 in toothbrushes and tubes of toothpaste from the Wisconsin Dental Association Foundation’s Smile Program in 2013.
The foundation’s Smile Program was launched in 2012 to put underprivileged children, adults and seniors on the track toward good dental health. The program focuses on oral health intervention with early care, educational information and support of positive behavior.
WDA Foundation Smile Program grants were recently awarded to these charitable organizations:
- Oshkosh Area United Way distributed new school supplies, clothing and personal hygiene products — including 1,152 toothbrushes and tubes of toothpaste — to students from low-income families referred by partner agencies during its 15th Community Back to School Fair.
- Convoy of Hope staged a one-day event at Kenosha’s Brass Community School in late July. More than 4,200 children and adults took advantage of free haircuts, clothing, shoes and groceries. Medical and dental services were also provided with 504 toothbrush and toothpaste sets distributed to patients.
- Macedonia Baptist Church, located on Milwaukee’s northwest side, distributed 72 toothbrushes to children attending its annual “Back to School Fair” in mid-August.
- Four Give Kids A Smile® events hosted by WDA member dentists each received 72 sets of toothbrushes and toothpaste. Donating care to local children and then sending them home with the tools to keep their teeth clean were Dr. Roger Stanek of Appleton; Drs. Cary Gillingham and James Schaeffer of Watertown; Drs. Meghan O’Brien and Tim O’Brien of Antigo; and Dr. John Olsen of Franklin.
- In Green Bay, toothbrushes and toothpaste were given to individuals who received dental-related treatment in the emergency departments at St. Vincent, Bellin and St. Mary’s hospitals.
- Pine River School for Young Learners in Merrill distributed its toothbrushes and toothpaste to families signing a pledge to participate in “Sugar Day Out”.
Smile Program applications are accepted throughout the year until the supply of toothbrushes and toothpaste is exhausted. Submit requests for these oral hygiene supplies via email at least eight weeks in advance of the date needed.