Delta Dental Plans Association launches smiles project

Oct. 27, 2008
When the 10,000th photo of people smiling is uploaded to its microsite, association will donate $10,000 to the National Head Start Association.

OAK BROOK, Illinois--Delta Dental Plans Association has launched "The 10,000 Smiles Project."

The company aims to collect 10,000 photos of people smiling on its microsite at 10,000 Smiles Project.

When the 10,000th photo is uploaded, Delta Dental Plans Association will donate $10,000 to the National Head Start Association, its designated philanthropic partner.

"Delta Dental Plans Association created this project as a fun and creative way for people to help us support the National Head Start Association and the young children it serves," said Tom Dolatowski, marketing vice president at Delta Dental Plans Association.

"As a social media experiment, it takes advantage of the internet to reach out to individuals across the U.S. and encourage them to upload smiling photos of themselves, their children, friends, family, and coworkers," added Dolatowski. "And then, we hope, they will forward their personal user page to friends, family, and coworkers, so they will add their photos too and help us reach our 10,000-smile goal."

Social media, in this case, refers to Delta Dental's microsite where people can share their photos, and stories about those photos, as a community. Social media in a broader context refers to online tools that empower people to engage in conversation and contribute to the collaborative process of content creation.

Internet forums, weblogs, wikis, and social media applications such as MySpace, Facebook and YouTube are examples of social media networks.

The 10,000 Smiles Project builds upon Delta Dental Plans Association's existing partnership with the National Head Start Association. In 2007, the two organizations formed an alliance to help improve the oral health of some of the nation's youngest children at a critical time in their development.

Head Start helps the children of low-income families by providing early childhood development services to promote school readiness. These services, such as dental and health care, immunization, social services and a focus on parental involvement make Head Start one of the most successful preschool programs in the country.

Delta Dental Plans Association and its member companies already support Head Start with volunteer efforts, financial donations, tools, and resources including oral health curriculum and education, supplies, screenings, and preventive care.

For more information, on the Delta Dental Plans Association go to Delta Dental Plans Association.

To read more about Delta Dental, go to Delta Dental.

To read more about this subject, go to PennWell Dental Community site.