Sonrisas Dental Health, a nonprofit community dental center, announces its 20th anniversary of providing dental care access to low-income, vulnerable residents of San Mateo County. The organization will celebrate this milestone anniversary on Saturday, June 5, 2021 through a virtual fundraising event hosted on Zoom with a goal of raising $30,000.
“Our ’20 Years of Smiles’ event not only celebrates our progress over two decades, it enables the local community to support our mission of providing dental care and oral health education to low-income families in the community,” said Tracey Carrillo Fecher, CEO of Sonrisas. “With $30,000, we can provide dental screenings for 230 children and up to 70 dental visits needed to restore oral health for an additional 20 patients.”
Although emergency dental care is available to community members through county programs, access to preventative oral health care is extremely limited. Founded in 2001, Sonrisas’ 48 dedicated staff members have teamed with volunteers and philanthropists to provide professional dental care, oral health education, and dental health screenings to 11,000 patients per year. Approximately 87% of new pediatric patients are children from low-income families who participate in the Sonrisas Access to Care program. Sonrisas serves patients at two locations in San Mateo and Half Moon Bay, as well as conducts dental health screenings in local schools and community centers. Prior to COVID-19, Sonrisas screened nearly 1,000 children annually in the San Mateo County Elementary School Districts. During the pandemic, Sonrisas continues to deliver live virtual oral health education classes, offers drive-through and outdoor dental screening events, and has distributed 2463 oral health kits through school lunch pickup programs.
The 20th anniversary celebration offers sponsorship opportunities, as well as a range of ticket choices and donation options. Sponsors and attendees will enjoy live entertainment, signature cocktails created by a local boutique distillery, and stories about the patients and communities that Sonrisas serves.
Sonrisas funds 58% of its operations through direct client services. Support from individuals, as well as foundations and major health care providers cover the remaining expenses. In fiscal year 2020-2021, Sonrisas has received financial support from Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, Sutter Health Mills-Peninsula Health Services, Dignity Health at Sequoia Hospital, Stanford Health Care, and Kaiser Permanente among many others.
To purchase tickets to the event, donate, and learn more about 20 Years of Smiles, visit the event site.
About Sonrisas Dental Health
Founded in 2001, Sonrisas is a nonprofit dental health organization that provides access to dental care and oral health education for low-income families and those who cannot otherwise access dental care. With 48 staff members who speak seven languages, Sonrisas delivers culturally sensitive professional care from clinics in San Mateo and Half Moon Bay. The organization operates with funding from direct client services, philanthropy groups, and donations from individuals. For additional information about Sonrisas, see www.sonrisasdental.org.
A short video illustrating Sonrisas’ activities can be found here.
Maura LeBaron-Hsieh, MPH
Director of Development