Smile Generation Serve Day is an annual day of service, part of a nationwide campaign of giving that focuses on dental care and also includes local service projects, such as cleaning up community parks and volunteering at local food banks. Over the course of seven years, roughly 12,500 patients have received care totaling more than $20 million dollars. Thanks to the participation of 540 PDS-supported offices and nearly 5,000 Smile Generation volunteers, over 2,300 patients received care resulting in $4.3 million in donated dentistry on this year’s Smile Generation Serve Day. Many of these offices partnered with local non-profit organizations to combine their efforts in reaching community members. Dental Lifeline Network, a nonprofit that provides dental care for people with disabilities or who are elderly and medically fragile, partnered with The Smile Generation in eight states.
“Smile Generation Serve Day gave us the opportunity to serve more patients with special needs, in states where many had been desperately waiting for care,” said Fred Leviton, CEO, Dental Lifeline Network. “We are so appreciative to Pacific Dental Services and all of The Smile Generation volunteers who changed lives in their communities.”
Other local organizations that worked with PDS-supported offices this year include Special Olympics New Mexico, Veterans of America in Arizona, Salvation Army in California, and the Las Vegas Rescue Mission.
“Our partnership with The Smile Generation is very important,” said Victoria Gonzales, Director of School and Community Initiatives with Special Olympics New Mexico. “It helps us to break down barriers for health care access for individuals with intellectual disabilities, which helps improve our athletes’ quality of life.”
Stephen Thorne IV, CEO and Founder of Pacific Dental Services, sees Smile Generation Serve Day as a way of engaging volunteers to help people through acts of service. Thorne reflected, “I’ve found when people engage in the physical act of service – of giving oneself and one’s time and talents to serving others – it changes our hearts and minds about what is truly important in life.”
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