Smiles are so important these days, and the Assistance League of Santa Barbara is making sure that children in this community are able to give big ones.
Donations of colorful Smiles Dental Kits, complete with a toothbrush, toothpaste, timer, flossers and tips for a healthy smile are included in every bag of school supplies, filled through the Assistance League’s Operation School Bell and Santa Barbara Smiles philanthropies.
“Established in 2005, Smiles normally serves 1,000 children and 600 adults each year by providing dental health education at the Eastside Family Dental Clinic,” said Marlene Carlyle, spokesperson for the league. “In past years, Smiles Dental Kits were distributed at the clinic and at school-based health fairs sponsored by the (Santa Barbara) County Public Health Department.
“Due to COVID-19 restrictions, this is no longer possible. However, the Smiles Dental Kits are getting the message out there.”
Inside a backpack with a hoodie, T-shirts, pants or leggings, underwear and socks, a school kit and a hygiene kit, the Smiles Dental Kits are being delivered through Operation School Bell to schools in the Santa Barbara, Hope and Carpinteria districts.
“Parents of children who qualify in these schools will be notified when they can come and pick up their child’s customized bag,” Ms. Carlyle said.
Children in the Goleta Unified School District are receiving bags with clothes and school supplies through Las Aletas auxiliary of the Assistance League.
“Along with its auxiliaries, Las Aletas and Assisteens, the Assistance League of Santa Barbara’s 350 members volunteer over 50,000 hours a year to improve the lives of residents in our community,” said Ms. Carlyle. “The Assistance Thrift Shop located at 1259 Veronica Springs Road is the major source of funding for these programs.”