Helping Healthy Athletes Smile at the Special Olympics World Games
What if you could help 200 million people worldwide who suffer needlessly from chronic pain and disease, blindness and hearing loss, shortened life span, and other health conditions? That’s what Special Olympics does everyday!
At more than 1.4 million free health examination clinics in more than 100 countries, the Special Olympics Healthy Athletes program offers health services and information to athletes in dire need. In the process, Special Olympics has become the largest global public health organization dedicated to serving people with intellectual disabilities.
During the 2015 Special Olympic World Games in Los Angeles, PDS® Serve Foundation, with volunteers from Smile Generation®-trusted dental offices across Southern California, were able to provide many athletes with much needed dental treatment.
The Healthy Athletes Special Smiles Program screened 2,768 Athletes, providing oral hygiene instructions and fluoride varnish. Smile Generation–trusted dentists and their clinical teams, as well as University of Southern California dental students, provided onsite dental treatment for those athletes in need.
Throughout the eight days, Smile Generation-trusted clinicians served 234 Athletes, providing more than $100,000 in donated dentistry.
These numbers only tell part of the story; the real joy came in the smiles that were brought to the faces of the athletes, coaches, family members, and other volunteers throughout the campus of USC. High fives were given for medals won and huge hugs for the athlete that was scared or nervous about getting dental treatment.
Friends were made from all over the world as 186 countries came together to compete in Los Angeles. Many of these individuals were from areas that have little to no access to dental care and have been dealing with pain and discomfort for years. These amazing athletes have left an indelible mark on our hearts.
We are honored, humbled, and grateful to have been able to be a part of the 2015 Special Olympic World Games and are looking forward to continuing our participation in local, state, and global events in the future!