Delta Dental donates thousands of toothbrushes to local nonprofits

Delta Dental is doing its part in keeping the mouths of Minnesota clean.

Grace Church Food Distribution in Fridley and Ralph Reeder Food Shelf in New Brighton have been selected to receive hundreds of toothbrushes and toothpaste tubes.

As a part of National Smile Month, which was in June, Delta Dental of Minnesota launched its Inspiring Smile Power initiative and is donating hygiene products to more than 200 nonprofits statewide.

Following an overwhelming number of requests, the company is now donating four times what it originally planned. When Delta Dental asked the public to nominate favorite Minnesota or North Dakota nonprofits to receive up to 1,000 free toothbrushes and tubes of toothpaste, the company thought it would be lucky to receive even 50 requests. But then the nominations came pouring in.

“Personal care and hygiene items are difficult to get and they are expensive for families to get so anytime we get things like tooth brushes it makes a big difference,” said Ralph Reeder program manager Lisa Baker. “Two community members nominated us and it really means a lot. To have reach out and know the good work we do is pretty special.”

In 2016, Ralph Reeder serviced more than 18,000 families in the metro area.

Grace Church Food Distribution coordinator Bob Espeseth said, “It’s a lottery.”

After receiving more than 200 submissions, Delta Dental of Minnesota announced it will donate the full amounts of requested toothbrushes and toothpaste to every nonprofit organization nominated. Today, a total of nearly 88,000 toothbrushes and tubes of toothpaste are making their way to 121 organizations that work to strengthen their communities across Minnesota and North Dakota.

“We had a happy problem. The number of donations we received far exceeded our expectations,” said Rod Young, CEO and President of Delta Dental of Minnesota. “More than that, it seemed like every organization we reviewed was worthy of, and in need of, the donations. In the end, it became too hard to narrow down the applicants.”

The initiative’s intent was to support and recognize organizations that inspire smiles across Minnesota and North Dakota.

“This overwhelming response suggests that our community leaders truly value the organizations which, through oral health, work to strengthen neighborhoods in every corner of the state, and we are proud to be a part of that,” said Young.

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