(February 12, 2018, Charlotte, NC)—Wells Fargo will light the Duke Energy Center blue on February 13 to highlight Smile Drive Charlotte, a campaign hosted by local non-profit America’s ToothFairy: National Children’s Oral Health Foundation. The campaign, now in its second year, aims to collect 50,000 oral care products for children in need and raise public awareness of the importance of oral health throughout the month of February, National Children’s Dental Health Month.
Though largely preventable, childhood tooth decay is the most prevalent chronic, untreated disease among children in the U.S. More than 36% of North Carolina children experience tooth decay by the time they reach kindergarten, and 15% have untreated tooth decay.
“Simple necessities like a toothbrush and toothpaste are something thousands of children in our Charlotte community do without,” said Jill Malmgren, Executive Director of America’s ToothFairy. “Without the basic tools to maintain good dental hygiene, children often face lifelong challenges with poor oral health that negatively impact their academic performance, school attendance and overall health.”
“We are pleased to support America’s ToothFairy and help generate awareness for their Smile Drive Charlotte effort,” said Bob Bertges, Corporate Properties director for Wells Fargo. “Our goal is to light the building in a way that connects directly with the Charlotte community. If we can help America’s ToothFairy put a focus on National Children’s Dental Health Month and collecting oral care products for local children in need, then we all benefit.”
Community members are invited to participate in Smile Drive Charlotte by collecting toothbrushes, toothpaste and other oral care products at their business, practice, school or other community location. All collected products can be donated to a local charity of the host’s choice or to America’s ToothFairy for distribution to local schools and non-profit organizations serving children in need. America’s ToothFairy will provide a collection box and a downloadable, promotional toolkit to each Smile Drive site. Those interested in participating can learn more at www.AmericasToothFairy.org/SmileDriveCLT.
Thanks to generous support from the Charlotte community in 2017, the inaugural Smile Drive Charlotte campaign raised more than 82,000 oral care products for children in the Charlotte region. All 77 Title I Schools in Mecklenburg County received toothbrushes to stock their hygiene closets, and more than 15 other non-profit organizations including A Child’s Place, Loaves and Fishes and Communities in Schools of Mecklenburg County benefited from Smile Drive donations.
Sponsors of the 2018 Smile Drive Charlotte campaign include the Charlotte Hornets Foundation, The Dale Jr. Foundation, Speedway Children’s Charities, and Wells Fargo.
About America’s ToothFairy: National Children’s Oral Health Foundation
As a resource provider, America’s ToothFairy: National Children’s Oral Health Foundation (NCOHF) increases access to oral health care by supporting non-profit clinics and community partners delivering education, prevention and treatment services for underserved children. Since its inception in 2006, America’s ToothFairy has distributed more than $18 million in donated products, educational materials and financial grants to improve oral health outcomes for children and youth in need. For more information, visit www.AmericasToothFairy.org.