Share A Smile

June 15, 2011
Program helps instill confidence, promotes good health for children in need.

HUNTINGTON BEACH, California--Smiles are often infectious, unless it’s painful to have one.

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For some local children without the resources to obtain dental care, smiling is more of a dream. Enter Share A Smile, an Orange County charity aimed at enriching the lives of Southern California's underprivileged kids by providing major dental and orthodontic procedures to those in need. The organization gives participants a chance to smile with confidence. For many, a new experience. One hundred percent of donations go directly to dental services for program recipients.

And now, six years on, in response to increasing interest throughout the community, Share A Smile has launched its first official fundraising campaign at After years of accepting donations informally, the organization--a 501(c)(3) non-profit--aims to expand its outreach to affected children.

Unlike most charities, which have to account for substantial administrative overhead, Share A Smile takes care of 100% of those expenses separately.

Established in 2005, Share A Smile has recruited volunteer children's dentists and orthodontists, who have helped nearly 100 young people in Southern California not only smile again, but smile with self-assurance.

“It is tough to imagine growing up afraid to speak or even smile for fear of being ridiculed,” said Mike and Kim Robertson, Share A Smile founders. “Unfortunately, this is a reality for many underprivileged youths, who lack of resources to get the dental care needed to remedy their situation. This can have long-term and lasting effects on a child’s confidence and self-esteem.”

Share A Smile was born out of a personal experience. The Robertsons witnessed the harassment of one of their daughter's friends and decided to get involved. Once they did, it soon became clear to them that they could not stop by helping just one child.

“Most feel-good stories have one of those types of moments,” the Robertsons added. “Once we realized the need, we started the Share A Smile organization. It’s an amazing feeling to be able to help so many of these truly great kids catch a break in life. In doing so, we also hope to grow a ‘pay it forward’ mentality in the hearts and minds of those we are able to help.”

To be considered for a Share A Smile grant, candidates need to be examined by a participating dentist/orthodontist, who then determines whether major dental/orthodontic services are required to correct a severe malformation, misshapenness, or other irregularity.

Applicants must be without dental insurance or have coverage deemed insufficient to pay for the necessary work, during a two-year period. Applications for the current calendar year will be accepted in July and August 2011.

Among the Southern California dental professionals volunteering their time are Drs. Mark F. Maxwell, Matt Nisco, Noland Soo, and Steven P. Underwood. Members of the Share A Smile Board of Directors include Mike and Kim Robertson, Michael Klarin, Stephanie Filipponio, Ron Luebbert and Clintton Fleschere.

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