With the holiday season about to begin, it is important to give back to the communities in which we work and live. If your practice is looking for some inspiration for how to donate assistance or resources, here are four ideas to get you started.
Donate oral health kits to those in need
This is an easy one, especially since you probably have most of the materials at your office already! Pack up some care kits with toothbrushes, toothpaste, floss and educational materials. You can also add in some fun extras for kids like stickers, bubbles or sidewalk chalk.
There are countless organizations for seniors, children and families that would benefit from oral health kits. To find one in your community, try one of these resources:
- Websites like guidestar.org, givewell.org, greatnonprofits.org or charitywatch.org
- Churches and community centers
- Local news outlets
Volunteer for story time
The dentist can be a curious, and sometimes scary, place for children who have not had much exposure yet. But what better way to get them ready than having a dentist read them a book about going to the dentist? Check with your local library to see what they offer for having guest readers at story time.
Here are just a few dental-themed books, just for kids:
- “Brush, Brush, Brush” by Alicia Padron
- “Where the Sugar Bugs Live” by Carrie Wucinich
- “The Tooth Book” by Dr. Suess
- “Berenstain Bears Go to the Dentist” by Stan and Jan Berenstain
Offer free dental days to those in need
To help reach underserved communities and get them the dental care they need, you can host free dental days at your practice. There are several organizations that support these initiatives, including Dentistry from the Heart and Give Back a Smile, or you can create your own event. If you choose to create your own, don’t forget to advertise: use social media, your website, flyers and community publications to get the word out!
Sometimes, you don’t need to look any further for someone to help than your own backyard. Take stock of your community and see where you can volunteer on-site. Some ideas include:
- Packing meals at food banks
- Spending time with seniors
- Hosting dental events at your community center
- Serving meals or donating resources to a shelter
- Hosting educational events at schools
- Cleaning up parks and roads
- Painting a mural
- Helping to harvest or clean up a community garden
- Lending a hand to build homes and shelters
Bonus: Volunteering as a group is also a great team-building exercise!
The bottom line: Giving back to the communities we serve is important, so look for opportunities near you. Many charities can benefit from oral health kits. Check with your local library and offer dental-themed story time sessions for kids. Offer free dental days to underserved communities in your area. Volunteer on-site at other locations to boost your community and team bonding.