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$20,000 of Free Care to Kids

February 7, 2012

On the eve of Give Kids A Smile (GKAS), I was worried we wouldn’t have enough patients. The following morning I was up by 5:30 am too excited to go back to sleep, even though I was still exhausted from getting things organized the night before with my Co-Coordinator, Crystal Ammori. It turns out my fears were unfounded.

By the time the doors opened at 8 o’clock there was a line of people stretched across the Fletcher Parking Structure.  The first patient had been there since 5:30am– and I thought I had an early morning! For the first time in the history of our Give Kids A Smile event at the University of Michigan, we reached capacity. By 8:45am we started turning people away because the first 100 children had already arrived. The advertising campaign that I had worked so hard on, with numerous people within the dental school and the community, was a success.

Over 125 volunteers came together to provide $20,000 worth of free dental care to children in need. Even Dr. Woolfolk, our Assistant Dean for Student Services, pitched in and helped check patients out. I am proud of all the work our volunteers did.

Things that require substantial time and effort are often times the most rewarding things in life. While months of planning culminated in a single day of free dental care, it was all worth it to hear stories of how grateful people are for what we have done for them. Today, a father thanked us for hosting our GKAS event. It was the first time his daughter had been to the dentist, and thanks to our volunteers it was a great experience.

Scott Michels is a D3 student and one of the driving forces behind Give Kids a Smile, an annual event here at the School of Dentistry.   For more information, email Scott at srmichel@umich.edu.

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