1,377 volunteers, including 832 Scouts, collected oral care products to give kids in their communities what they need to practice healthy dental hygiene habits at home. 60 online drives collected enough money to support the distribution of nearly 16,000 toothbrushes. And generous product donations from SmileMakers, Crest and Colgate drove our total Smile Drive tally to 91,347 oral care products for families in need!
A total of 80 Smile Drives were held in 28 states from Vermont to Hawaii and everywhere in between. Donated toothbrushes, toothpaste, floss, rinse and other oral care products were given to organizations that serve families in need including food pantries and homeless shelters, domestic violence shelters, church ministries, crisis intervention services, schools, after school programs, safety-net dental clinics, and more.
Olivia Rinaldi in Manalapan, NJ got her high school involved and collected 200 items. “So many people came out to help and donate to people in need!” she told us. “It was a great experience and a great way for people in my school to get involved and help others out!”
High school freshman, Arthur Wang of San Diego, CA (pictured below) and his classmates took advantage of the free tools that are available to all Smile Drive volunteers including flyers, posters, box decorations, and other promotional materials to make their community members aware of their drive. The group placed collection boxes at five local libraries, contacted dental offices for donations, and reached out to elementary schools to talk about the challenges disadvantaged children face.
"I think our Smile Drive was successful," Arthur shared in his report. "Next year, we would like to continue organizing Smile Drives with more libraries, and reaching out to more organizations and dental offices."
Arthur and five other volunteers collected more than 700 oral care items and donated them to their local food bank, Feeding San Diego, to help families facing food insecurity keep their smiles healthy.
The Pre-Dental Society at Rutgers Newark Graduate School of Biomedical Sciences, led by Stephany Lopez, was looking for ways to donate oral hygiene supplies to their school's food pantry. Stephany searched online and found Smile Drive.
“We were eager to start our fundraiser with our goal being to promote oral health in underserved communities,” Stephany told us. “We sent our Smile Drive donation page link to our members, family and friends, and saw the numbers climb to $1,166 quickly.”
The group ultimately raised enough to donate more than two thousand toothbrushes!
Stephany contacted America’s ToothFairy to let us know their online Smile Drive was over and to designate where she wanted to have their toothbrushes delivered. In order to avoid overwhelming one organization with too many toothbrushes, in addition to donating to Rutgers' food pantry, the team opted to have the remaining number of toothbrushes divided between five different homeless shelters:
“It was an incredible experience to say the least,” Stephany said. “America's ToothFairy opened the door for us to give back in ways we had always hoped to, and for that we are very grateful.”
We are grateful for every Smile Drive volunteer who participated this year, to our generous corporate donors, and to everyone who gave in their community or online to help struggling families have the basic supplies they need to brush and floss every day!
Sponsors are needed to make our 10th Anniversary Celebration Campaign a success. Download our sponsor packet for more information.