MADISON, Wis., Feb. 13 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Valentine’s Day is a time to celebrate healthy relationships and this year the American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry Charitable Foundation’s (AACDCF) Give Back A Smile (GBAS) program celebrates that and so much more. Generous AACDCF volunteer dental professionals have given their time and expertise pro bono to help restore the smiles and lives of survivors of domestic violence. To date, more than 600 GBAS cases have been completed for a total dollar value of over $5 million.
Sadly, more than five million people in the United States are affected by domestic violence each year. These startling statistics reflect why the AACDCF’s GBAS program was created. Its mission is to “restore a life by restoring a smile” by providing free cosmetic dental care to survivors of domestic violence.
“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. AACD members who assist survivors of domestic violence by treating their dental injuries in-turn restoring their smiles, their self-esteem and their lives,” said AACD Foundation Director Erin Roberts. “This is the true spirit of Valentine’s Day.”
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 www.givebackasmile.com, call the National Hotline: (800) 773-4227 or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. To make a donation to the Give Back A Smile program contact the AACD Charitable Foundation, 5401 World Dairy Drive, Madison, Wisconsin 53718-3900 or call (608) 222-8583.
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Source: American Academy of Cosmetic Dentistry