MADISON, Wis., Oct. 9 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — October marks National Domestic Violence Awareness Month and sadly, more than five million people in the United States are affected by domestic violence each year. These startling statistics reflect why the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry Charitable Foundation’s (AACDCF) Give Back A Smile (GBAS) program was created. Its mission: to “restore a life by restoring a smile” by providing free cosmetic dental care to survivors of domestic violence. To date, more than 6,000 AACD dental professionals have volunteered their time and expertise pro bono, 600 cases have been completed for a total dollar value of nearly $5 million and over 300 applicants are being treated throughout the United States.
“After suffering abuse, it is difficult for survivors to find something to smile about, and it’s even harder when they don’t have a smile to show. Time after time we have witnessed American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry (AACD) members assist survivors of domestic violence by treating their dental injuries, restoring their smiles, their self-esteem and their lives,” said AACD Foundation Director Erin Roberts. “We are overjoyed that AACD volunteers have given so much of themselves by helping those in need.”
Finding Help Through Give Back A Smile
— Domestic violence survivors who have suffered dental injuries from
abuse from a former intimate partner or spouse can contact GBAS toll-
free at: (800) 773-4227.
— Survivors must make an appointment with a counselor, domestic violence
advocate, social worker or therapist to complete the advocate section
of the GBAS application.
— GBAS conducts the initial review of the application, however, the
dentist has the final say as to the eligibility of the applicant.
— If eligible, the AACD connects the survivor with a local GBAS volunteer
who provides treatment at no charge to the recipient.
Restoring Smiles – and Lives
In July 2001, the AACD was one of only eight organizations in the world to receive the Award of Excellence and the prestigious Associations Advance America Summit Award for its GBAS program. The American Society of Association Executives (ASAE), of Washington, D.C., sponsors this yearly national competition to recognize the charitable organizations that make the most effort to advance American society.
Those interested in finding help through the Give Back A Smile program should visit http://www.givebackasmile.com/, call the National Hotline: (800) 773-4227 or send an e-mail to [email protected]. To make a donation to the Give Back A Smile program contact the AACD Charitable Foundation, 5401 World Dairy Drive, Madison, Wisconsin 53718-3900.
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Source: American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry