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Catastrophic storms have rocked communities across the U.S., but these disasters are no match for the dental community. Practices big and small hurried to collect donations for their fellow dentists and other victims in the areas hit hardest. Continue below to find out what they did and how you can help, too.
Combined, the efforts of dentists and their practices are helping restore the lives of thousands.
In the wake of disasters like the ones that have plagued the U.S. and its island territories, communities look to their leaders for support.
The response of large franchises and independent practices across the country just goes to show that when the going gets tough, dentists can be heroes. Here are a few ways dentistry has stepped up to the plate to help victims of the recent hurricanes.
1. Heartland Dental
With more than 200 supported offices in Florida and Texas, the leaders of Heartland Dental knew they had to do something to help.
According to News12 New Jersey, Heartland Dental, the largest dental support organization in the country, initiated a relief effort to help dentists and dental professionals affected by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma.
Patrick Bauer, president and CEO of Heartland Dental, said it was imperative that the company do everything in its power to support their network.
“It was important to me that members of our Heartland Dental family who were unable to work due to the storms, still received pay and insurance coverage. I often talk about doing the right thing for the right reason, and this situation is no different,” Bauer said in a Heartland Dental blog post.
So far, $40,000 have been raised, and Heartland Dental will match up to $50,000 for team members in need.
2. ADA Foundation
In an effort to help dentists in all the locations hit by powerful storms, the American Dental Association is asking members to contribute to the ADA Foundation Emergency Disaster Grant Program.
According to ADANews, the Foundation is working with the Texas Dental Association and the Florida Dental Association to move the grant application process along. The Foundation pledged to provide immediate financial assistance to eligible dentists and cover food, water, clothing and shelter up to $2,000.
Donate to the grant program here.
3. All About Smiles
This Pipestone, Minnesota practice is no stranger to fundraising, so when Operation Gratitude reached out to them to ask if they wanted to help gather donations, the decision was simple.
“We worked with Operation Gratitude in the past for fundraising in many different ways, about what they were doing. It was the least we could do, and it was a very short timeline. We still have patients calling and asking us how they can contribute,” All About Smiles office manager Erica Hazelton from said of their efforts.
With just a few days to spare, the practice was able to collect new socks, underwear, and hand and foot warmers to send off to Harvey victims in Texas and Louisiana.
4. Media Dental Associates
After learning that more than 200,000 people were forced from their homes, employees at Media Dental Associates in Media, PA felt compelled to help in any capacity they could.
In two weeks, the practice accepted clothing, household items, diapers, and more to send to victims through Salvation Army.
Over in Boston, the DentaQuest franchise answered their calling to service by donating $1 million to Harvey relief efforts, according to Boston Business Journal.
“We know the road to recovery will not be easy, but we are here to support Texas,” DentaQuest President and CEO Steve Pollock said in a release. “Alone we can help individuals, but together we can rebuild communities.”
Pollock also exhorted others to help Governor Greg Abbotts elicit $100 million to send to disaster victims.
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