March 27, 2013
by Smile For A Lifetime
The Smile for a Lifetime Foundation (S4L), an international nonprofit organization that provides orthodontic care and free braces to underserved children with financial challenges and special orthodontic needs, announced today that it has partnered with the National Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) Association to help S4L chapters throughout North America find qualified applicants for their local orthodontic scholarship programs. Through S4L’s partnership with National CASA, young people who are served by the 946 CASA programs across the country will have the opportunity to learn about S4L and apply for its orthodontic treatment scholarships.
“These scholarships provided by S4L will impact young lives across the country,” said National CASA Association CEO Michael Piraino. “The stories of disparity and need we hear of the 662,000 abused and neglected children in the child welfare system are unbelievable. This new partnership opens the door to reach many children in need, and we hope that others join us on the journey to support a vulnerable population that so desperately needs it.”
S4L was founded in 2008 by Dr. Benjamin Burris in an effort to link children and teens of low-income families with pro-bono orthodontic scholarships. Since its inception, the foundation has treated more than 1000 children who could not afford braces and has grown to an international nonprofit organization that currently serves more than 137 chapters in 42 states and Canada. Local orthodontists form S4L chapters in the communities they serve and individually treat six or more young people annually. Local CASA staff members are encouraged to nominate members ages 11-18 who would benefit from the S4L program by visiting www.s4l.org.
“Finances should never stop a child from achieving the dream of a straight smile and S4L is committed to touching the lives of our youth by awarding thousands of orthodontic scholarships to deserving kids,” said S4L National Board President Dr. Ronald Redmond. “Given our shared goal of fostering self-confidence among our nation’s youth, we believe our partnership with National CASA is the perfect union for providing our nation’s young people with a brighter future.”
S4L scholarships are funded through local orthodontists and primary sponsor Ormco Corporation-a leading manufacturer and provider of advanced orthodontic technology and services. Ormco provides the orthodontist with the braces used for treating each S4L scholarship recipient.
For more information on S4L’s partnership with National CASA and further details on the orthodontic scholarship application process, please contact Michelle Von Fange at 719-535-2777 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
About National CASA (www.casaforchildren.org) Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) for Children is a network of 946 community-based programs that recruit, train and support citizen-volunteers to advocate for the best interests of abused and neglected children in courtrooms and communities. The only program of its kind, CASA volunteers are empowered by the courts to provide children with one-on-one advocacy. CASA volunteers see their assigned children regularly and interview all the adults who impact their lives. Volunteer advocates offer judges the critical information they need to ensure each child’s rights and needs are being attended to while in foster care, staying with the child until she is placed in a loving permanent home. For many abused children, their CASA volunteer is the only constant adult presence in their lives.
About Smile for a Lifetime Foundation
The mission of S4L is to create self-confidence, inspire hope and change the lives of children in their communities in a dramatic way. The gift of a smile can do all this for a deserving, underserved individual who, in turn, can use this gift to better themselves and their community. During treatment, many S4L local chapters also encourage scholarship recipients to participate in community service through a “pay it forward” program inspiring young people to participate in lifelong giving.
Currently, there are 137 chapters serving 42 states across North America with movement to increase those numbers to more than 200 chapters, covering 50 states and Canada in the next five years. Each chapter commits to serve at least six or more young people annually. By the end of 2013, some 800 to 1,000 young people will have received the gift of a smile with $4 million to $6 million of orthodontic services donated.