In honor of National Children's Dental Health Month, we challenged kids from Scout Troops and service clubs to earn their Oral Health Actin HERO patches by holding Smile Drives and collect at least 100 toothbrushes, toothpaste, floss, and other oral care items for struggling families in their own communities. The kids also qualified for cash prizes and found creative ways to increase donations. In all, 451 children successfully completed drives and collected more than 18,000 oral care products that were distributed to 52 community organizations!
Troops that completed their drives by World Oral Health Day on March 20th qualified for prizes, including a $100 gift card for the child that collected the most items, and a random drawing for four $25 gift cards for anyone who collected 25 items or more. The first 10 Troops to submit their reports also received a free case of toothbrushes to add to their donations.
Top honors were awarded to Camp Fire Samish of Oak Harbor, WA, (pictured below) members of Camp Fire USA, a national youth development organization. Izzy Tucey, their top collector and winner of our $100 prize, contributed 1,441 items to their total. Along with Brianna, Caitlin, and Nicholas Sandovall who received 1,246 donated items together, the small club of only 10 kids collected a whopping 3,000 dental hygiene products!
"This was the perfect way to do a service project due to covid," their club leader, Sandy Quinores told us. "The kids made posters, facebook posts, and wrote letters to local dentists, family, and friends asking for donations. They also made an Amazon wishlist so people could buy off it and have the items sent to them. They had a great time doing it!" The group split their large collection among eight different community organizations.
Other Top Groups Included:
Girl Scout Troop 18392 from Rogers, Minnesota promoted their drive online and collected on site during their cookie booth sales to meet their goal. Their troop leader, Mellisa Anderson told us, "The girls worked hard and sorted all the items to donate to our local food pantry." (Two of the troop's members are pictured in the circle image at the top of this page.)
Troop 16170 in Marietta, Georgia collected 581 oral care products despite only having five scouts in their troop! The girls placed notices in their neighborhood directories and Facebook asking for donations. They also earned money by babysitting to purchase supplies for their donation to a foster care organization.
Troop 90115 from Bristow, Virginia, (picture above, left) led by Erin Blankenship, donated 1,200 items to their local food pantry. Since the girls are kindergarteners they needed help from their parents to solicit donations. Then they sorted toothbrushes, floss, and toothpaste into bags for both children and adults. This was a very hands-on way for the girls to see how they could contribute!
Troop 1073 in Nassau County, New York could not meet in person due to COVID restrictions. Their troop leader, Lucie Yarkin, opted to put their drop-off box on her front porch (pictured above, right) and collected 105 items. The girls dropped off 86 oral care items, while the rest of the donations came from sharing their drive on social media to help the troop reach their goal and earn their patches.
Boy Scout Troop 407, from Gallatin, Tennessee (pictured above, right) set up collection boxes at the church where we meet which filled up quickly. They also reached out to the community and a months time collected 2,845 items that were donated to an organization that serves homeless families in the school system. The boys learned more about the importance of dental hygiene by visiting a local dental office. The Troop's leader, Sarah Alexander told us, "Our Troop learned that they can set big goals, especially when they call on the generosity of their community."
Girls Scouts in Troop 719 from Newark, Delaware collected 644 items in just two hours during their Smile Drive Thru (pictured above, left.) The girls and their leader, Barbara Strauss, promoted the event for two weeks with social media and word of mouth and donated their collection to their local food bank.
America's ToothFairy congratulates all of the kids who participated in our special Smile Drive challenge. To find out about the next opportunity to earn free Scout patches, sign up for our email alerts.