They say a smile is worth a thousand words! :)
This February, SmartPractice’s Operations Coordinator, Marc Dias had the opportunity to put smiles back on local children’s faces through the American Dental Association’s Give Kids A Smile program.
“For me, it’s really rewarding,” said Marc Dias.
Marc and a group of SmartPractice volunteers partnered with the Arizona School of Dentistry and Oral Health in Mesa to provide underserved children with free dental care.
“Through the ADA’s Give Kids A Smile program, launched nationally by the American Dental Association in 2003, more than 6 million underserved children have received free oral health services. These free services are provided by volunteers including approximately 7,000 dentists annually, along with 30,000 other dental team members.” – Give Kids A Smile website
At this annual event, SmartPractice volunteers help coordinate the event by escorting kids to receive care, staying with them during their services and even calming their nerves when they get scared.
”Every year I’ve had one little girl who will not let my hand go,” Marc shared.
This was Marc’s second time participating in the event, and this year, he was able to see firsthand the great care the children received. He says all the doctors, students, volunteers and kids were amazing.
”I actually got to watch the student doctors work with the doctors and they’re amazing.”
The kids who participate in the event come from local schools. Marc explained how volunteers were told that many of the kids might not have families, access to ample food or have never been to the dentist.
The most rewarding part for Marc?
“Just giving back,” he says. “That’s the biggest thing, that you know you’re actually doing something to help them out.”
Marc says he is grateful to work for a company that allows employees the opportunity to volunteer in the community and even helped recruit for this year’s event.
“It’s a great benefit and always a great experience,” said Marc. “I tell everybody to always do at least one or two events a year. It will change your perspective.”
Learn more about SmartHearts, an employee-driven volunteer group founded in 2004 to encourage employees to give back. Stay tuned for more blog posts featuring SmartPractice employees who are making a difference in our community.