Imagine waking up to find thousands of dollars under your pillow. That’s what happened to 15 organizations as America’s ToothFairy awarded $105,000 in grants to members of its Affiliate Network, a collaborative alliance of non-profit clinical and community partners providing oral health education and care to at-risk children.
As part of the National Children’s Oral Health Foundation, America’s ToothFairy uses this network to deliver community-based programs, educational materials, oral care products, dental equipment, and financial grants to support expansion and innovation of children’s oral health services.
Children’s Dental Services (CDS) of Minnesota received the $20,000 Medicom ToothFairy Grant. CDS provides a full range of dental care in more than 600 locations to low-income children and pregnant women, particularly in school and Head Start locations where children and families congregate. It accepts all insurance and offers a sliding scale for income eligible families.
“We are thrilled and gratified by the support of Medicom and America’s ToothFairy,” said Sarah Wovcha, executive director of the organization. “CDS plans to increase services in a variety of regions across Minnesota, thereby reducing barriers and increasing access to care.”
The Indiana University School of Dentistry Division of Pediatric Dentistry and Community Dentistry on Wheels in Washington, DC, won $10,000 Patterson Dental Sparkle ToothFairy grants. The Gateway to Oral Health Foundation in Missouri and the Kids’ Community Dental Clinic of Burbank, Calif, received $7,500 grants. And, 10 other organizations won grants of $5,000 each.
For example, the University of Texas School of Dentistry at Houston received the $5,000 TSC EcoSolutions ToothFairy Grant. The school will use the funding to support its outreach activities to underserved immigrant populations. Dental and dental hygiene students will provide oral health services to Burmese and Bhutanese refugee families through the Refugee Oral Health Promotion and Education Program.
The Department of Pediatric Dentistry at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) School of Dentistry will use its $5,000 ToothFairy Ball Grant to expand its affiliate Oral Health Zone to the Richmond and Tri-Cities areas in Virginia. The program is designed to create a dental home that serves patients and the surrounding communities and educates them about oral health. It also supplies children with needed products such as toothbrushes, toothpaste, and floss.
“We feel very grateful to be selected as a recipient of the grant,” said Julie Soung, a dental hygienist with the department of pediatric dentistry at VCU. “The main purpose of our program is to give 100% back to the community in the form of screenings and oral health education. Without NCOHF’s support of this program, we would not have the means necessary to provide this service to the Richmond community.”
“We are very proud to award these ToothFairy Grants to enhance the smile-saving work of nonprofit clinical and community programs across the country,” said Fern Ingber, America’s ToothFairy president and CEO. “Thanks to their efforts, and the generosity of donor companies and individuals, thousands of at-risk children and their families will be able to access the oral health services and education they need for optimal health.”