As the holiday season continues in full effect, a lot of people get in the mood for giving. With Thanksgiving just over, you probably ate so much that you envy cows and their four stomachs. But before you delve into eggnog, cookies, prime rib, and fruitcake (Well, we aren’t sure anyone has eaten fruitcake in the last two decades, but it’s synonymous with the holidays, so…), you should consider donating to a charity. With so many charities to choose from, it can be hard to make a decision on what cause you want to be apart of. Below are a few charities that focus on dental needs.
- National Children’s Oral Health Foundation (NCOHF) – Through various programs and initiatives, NCOHF aims to helps children of all ages by educating them on preventative oral care, as well as providing oral health products to those in need. Since the NCOHF gets funding from bigger partnerships, all donations made go directly to the programs and not administrative or fundraising efforts.
- Dental Lifeline Network (DLN) – DLN provides the less fortunate with dental services by organizing the logistics for volunteer dentists and labs. DLN has an agreement with dentists that they will do at least one to two cases per year. While most low-income dental clinics provide only basic or emergency services, DLN is proud to have dentists who perform extensive dentistry for low-income and disabled/elderly people.
- Global Dental Relief (GDR) – GDR gives children in impoverished areas around the world much-needed oral care, and also educates them on how to properly to take care of their teeth. They organize multiple relief trips a year to Nepal, India, Guatemala, Kenya and Cambodia.
If these charities aren’t tugging on your (golden) heart strings, check out Just Give to find one that may persuade you to donate or volunteer. Just Give allows you to search for local charities — that way you know the money or time you’re donating is going back into your community. Additionally if you don’t know much about a charity, visit Charity Navigator. Charity Navigator rates non-profit organizations on financial efficiency and transparency. Before donating to a charity you like, be sure to check out if the organization is of high quality or not.
As we continue to enjoy our holiday season with family, friends, and loved ones, please take the time to look into a charity that resonates with you. It only takes a little bit of your time and effort to make someone else’s year.
The holiday season is often touted as “the best time of the year!” While this is true for many, for some it can be the most difficult. For individuals and families coping with homelessness, in crisis, or dealing with a time of personal hardship, this time of year can be intensely challenging to face and even harder get through. When basic needs aren’t being met, the gift-giving season can take a toll. So during this season of abundance, consider giving someone less fortunate their smile back.
Toothbrushes, toothpaste, floss, and mouth rinse are everyday items that are often taken for granted. But these items enable people to enjoy one of the greatest gifts of all: a healthy smile. During difficult times, the smallest acts of kindness can mean the world for those in need. This season consider donating these basic tools for maintaining oral health and hygiene to a charity that supports those in need. If you aren’t sure where to start, consider some of the options listed below.
Donations for the Homeless
According to the National Alliance to End Homelessness, in January 2014 there were 578,424 people experiencing homelessness. This number includes families with children and individuals. National charities, like Catholic Charities, support the homeless, have a home base in most cities, and often take donations throughout the year and over the holidays. Most local homeless shelters also take donations and are in desperate need of oral hygiene products as well. Neighborhood churches put an extra effort toward making sure that everyone stays warm and cozy, and that everyone feels the spirit of community during the winter months. They are a great point of contact for your donation.
Domestic Violence Shelters
Somewhere between 2 million and 4 million women are victims of domestic violence each year. Many of them have children, and they may have little time to gather personal items before fleeing their abusers. They come to shelters without their clothing or personal supplies. Shelters are always looking for hygiene supplies and personal care products, especially around the holidays. Dental hygiene care pages that include child-friendly toothpastes, rinses, and brushes are appreciated and put to good use.
Ronald McDonald House Charities
Ronald McDonald House Charities provide a home-away-from-home for families of seriously ill children. The houses run year-round and offer a place for parents and family members to stay so that they can be close to their children while getting a break from the hospital atmosphere. They have many of the same comforts as home, including hot showers, laundry facilities, snacks, Internet access, and television. The Ronald McDonald House wish list includes individually packaged toothbrushes and toothpaste — a simple way to encourage a smile.
Budgets run tight during this season of giving. Oftentimes the idea of charitable giving can feel out of reach for many of us. It’s important to remember that something as small as a toothbrush can make all the difference in the world for those facing hardship. Every thoughtful act that comes from the heart ends in a smile.
Contact your Lancaster dentist Dr. Douglas Weber at (661) 952-7865 to find out more about how you can give members of our community the gift of a smile this holiday season!