Caring in the Community: Brooke’s Smile Drive


It’s the season of giving! While many people are focused on giving gifts to their friends and family, you might also be thinking about ways you can share some joy and hope with those in need.

On the Helping Health Happen Blog, we share many stories of people who use their expertise to bring health care to some of the most remote corners of the world. These trips make an incredible difference for our global community, but you don’t have to hop on a plane to help health happen.

In America, pediatric dental disease, or tooth decay, is the #1 chronic illness affecting kids.

Meanwhile, thousands of children across the country don’t even have a toothbrush of their own.

That’s why Brooke Butler, a senior at Bristol-Plymouth Regional Technical School, hosted her own Smile Drive.

Smile Drive is a national campaign by America’s Tooth Fairy. It takes place all year, with a special emphasis on campaigning during National Children’s Dental Health Month in February.

Participants organize their very own Smile Drive by collecting donated oral care products and handing them out to underserved populations within their community.

Car loaded up with supplied for the Smile Drive

Brooke delivered 2,640 dental care items to the West End Community Center in Boston, Massachusetts. The hygiene supplies included toothbrushes, toothpaste, floss, mouth rinse and travel toothbrush covers. Brooke collected donations from fellow students, faculty, and staff at her school, as well as the Henry Schein Cares Foundation.

By giving these basic supplies to her local community center, she was able to share a smile with many families and individuals in need.

“It is an incredible feeling to know that something as simple as a toothbrush, an item that many of us take for granted, can have such a tremendous impact on the lives of others.

“Dental disease and pediatric dental disease is the most preventable condition, however proper oral health is often over looked,” Brooke said. “Being able to give to others is a feeling like no other. And it was the experience of a lifetime. I wouldn’t trade it for the world.”

Brooke’s Smile Drive shows that you don’t have to be a professional to help health happen. Anyone can give the gift of a healthy smile!

Related articles…

15 Reasons to Give Kids A Smile

A Medical Mission at Home in Washington, DC

The South Bronx’s Dental Hygiene Hero: Q&A with Mary Manning