(HOWARD, SD) – Horizon Health Care’s Horizon Health Foundation, in conjunction with Delta Dental of South Dakota, is gearing up to celebrate Giving Tuesday for South Dakota and to raise $20,000 from 400 individual, business, and corporate partners to help children ages 0-5 receive a free dental screening.
Cavities are one of the most common diseases of children in the US. Over 40% of children have cavities by the time they reach kindergarten. About 20.5% of children ages 2-5 have untreated decay, and 50% of children ages 2-5 have never seen a dentist.
In 2018, Horizon piloted a children’s oral health campaign, “Smiles for Miles”, that focused on bringing children ages 0-5 into the dental clinic for a free preventative exam and cleaning. The campaign has now been established as an annual program that is held during October each year. During October 2019, Horizon saw 181 patients ages 0-5, 66% were new patients, and 19% of the children seen had decay identified during the exam. “Since the program’s conception, we have been able to provide 441 children a free preventative exam and cleaning,” said Christina Konechne, COO.
To meet the need of children across South Dakota and ensure they have access to a free dental exam, the Horizon Health Foundation is raising money to support and grow “Smiles for Miles” by participating in South Dakota Gives’ second annual Giving Tuesday #ForSouthDakota campaign.
Following Thanksgiving and the widely recognized shopping events Black Friday and Cyber Monday, this year’s Giving Tuesday #ForSouthDakota will take place on Tuesday, December 3rd and will kick off the giving season by inspiring people to collaborate and give back. Giving Tuesday is a global day of giving that harnesses the collective power of individuals, communities and organizations to encourage philanthropy and to celebrate generosity worldwide. #ForSouthDakota for the first time ever, is uniting to celebrate generosity in the great state of South Dakota. The Horizon Health Foundation invites individuals to create “Smiles for Miles” by joining the Golden Smile Club (sponsor a child – gifts of $250 or more), or Golden Toothbrush Club (gifts of $8 or more).
All gifts made on Giving Tuesday will be matched dollar for dollar up to $5,000 by Delta Dental of South Dakota. “We are excited to once again partner with Delta Dental of South Dakota to help children in need,” said Brianna Feldhaus, Fundraising Officer of Horizon Health Foundation. “Our organizations are similar in that we provide for thousands of South Dakotans, especially in our rural and frontier communities. We are grateful for their generosity.”
Delta Dental is a nonprofit oral health company working to improve the oral health of all South Dakotans. In addition to dental benefit plans, Delta Dental of South Dakota provides dental care and oral health education to kids across the state. “We know how important it is that young kids see a dentist,” said Scott Jones, CEO of Delta Dental of South Dakota. “We also know it’s not always easy, especially in rural areas. This is a great way for us to support a mission we share for better oral health for kids in South Dakota.”
The Horizon Health Foundation has also teamed up with Dude Dad (Taylor Calmus), a Los Angeles-based social media celebrity (originally from South Dakota), and Sioux Falls Batman to promote children’s oral health and to raise funds for the Smiles for Miles program. Watch for videos to be released on Giving Tuesday to see Dude Dad (Robin) and Batman team up to fight Dr. Cavities and promote oral health.
To donate or learn more on South Dakota Day of Giving, visit the Horizon Health Foundation webpage https://horizonhealthfoundation.com/smiles, Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/HorizonHealthFoundation/, or call at 605-772-4553.
If you already have plans for December 3rd, the Foundation can schedule gifts in advance of South Dakota Day of Giving by phone or through the website.
The Horizon Health Foundation was established in 2016 to ensure rural health care access to those in need and provide funding for Horizon Health Care, Inc. Horizon Health Foundation, a tax-exempt, non-profit corporation, seeks through responsible activities to encourage and derive sustaining gift support from current and former patients and interested friends, including corporate entities. The Horizon Health Foundation, operating in coordination with Horizon Health Care, Inc., is the duly designated fundraising arm for Horizon Health Care. In the broadest sense, the purpose of the Foundation is to create an awareness of the financial needs of Horizon Health Care, which are not provided by patient charges and to systematically implement plans by which dollar needs can be met.
About Horizon Health Care
For over 40 years, Horizon Health Care has been providing personalized, affordable, high-quality medical, dental and mental health care through a rural, community-based network in South Dakota. Horizon is a Federally Qualified Health Center (FQHC) that serves the medical, dental and mental health care needs of South Dakotans in rural, medically underserved areas through 110,000 patient visits annually in 32 community health centers in: Aberdeen, Alcester, Bison, Bryant, De Smet, Eagle Butte, Elk Point, Faith, Fort Thompson, Howard, Huron, Isabel, La Plant, Lake Preston, Martin, McIntosh, Mission, Plankinton, Wessington Springs, White River, Woonsocket, and Yankton. For more information please visit www.horizonhealthcare.org.