Program to provide more than $2 million in cosmetic dental services
Give Back A Smile initiative will offer free cosmetic dental services to survivors of domestic violence.
October is National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. More than five million people are battered every year in the United States. Seventy-five percent of women who are in an abusive relationship receive battering to the face and head area, and are not financially able to correct the injuries suffered.
Those startling statistics reflect why the American Academy of Cosmetic
Dentistry (AACD) founded the Give Back A Smile program in 1999 in
conjunction with the National Coalition Against Domestic Violence (NCADV).
Since then, more than 850 AACD member dental professionals have
volunteered their time and expertise pro bono to restore the smiles -- and the lives -- of survivors of domestic violence.
To date, 346 domestic abuse cases have been completed for a total dollar value of $2,157,024. Currently, 229 applicants are being treated throughout the United States.
"Through the Give Back A Smile program, AACD members assist survivors of
domestic violence by treating their dental injuries, so that they may reclaim their smiles, their self-esteem and, ultimately, their lives," said AACD Charitable Foundation Coordinator Erin Roberts.
Finding Help Through Give Back A Smile
* Domestic violence survivors who have suffered dental injuries from abuse can contact the NCADV by calling the GBAS national toll-free number, 800.773.GBAS(4227). All applicants must apply for the program through the NCADV.
* The survivor then undergoes screening sessions with the NCADV and a
local counselor of their choice to determine if they are eligible for the program.
* If eligible, they are then referred to the AACD for acceptance. The AACD connects the survivor with a local GBAS volunteer who provides treatment at no charge to the survivor.
Making a Difference
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 with the Give Back A Smile program should visit www.givebackasmile.com, call the National Hotline: 1.800.773.GBAS, or send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Donations to the Give Back A Smile program can be made directly at www.givebackasmile.com, or by sending the donation to the AACD
Charitable Foundation, 5401 World Dairy Drive, Madison, Wisconsin