It’s the eighth day of our 12 Days of Charitable Giving! In December, I’ll be focusing on twelve charitable organizations which my readers have nominated as most deserving of your charitable donation. You have a couple more weeks to squeeze in you charitable deduction for tax purposes in 2014 – so why not consider one of our twelve?
Today’s featured charity is Give Kids A Smile. Give Kids A Smile provides dental care for underserved children.
Over 40% of Americans skip the dentist every year: the percentage goes up to 70% for those in poor households. By the numbers, 53% of all 6-8 year olds have tooth decay and tooth decay is dramatically on the rise for children ages 0-5 years old. Think it’s not a serious problem? Over 52 million school hours and over 140 million work hours are missed each year due to dental problems.
Give Kids A Smile started in St. Louis, Missouri, opening its first clinic in February of 2002. Give Kids A Smile provides clinics twice a year at St. Louis University – kids receive comprehensive dental care, home hygiene materials, education materials, lunch and fun. Since February of 2002, Give Kids A Smile has served 13,521 Patients, donating services worth $6,850,354.
So how can you help?
Give Kids A Smile can use your cash donations to offset the expenses of providing care to children in the community. The process of providing dental care is expensive due to the cost of dental equipment, materials and supplies (all services of the dentists, hygienists, and staff are donated).
You can make a cash donation online. Make all donations payable to Give Kids A Smile, Inc. and send to:
Give Kids A Smile
340-A Mid Rivers Mall Drive
St. Peters, MO 63376
You can also sponsor a child. It costs approximately $100 to provide comprehensive dental care at an event: expenses include dental and general supplies, home care needs such as tooth brushes, floss, and toothpaste, educational materials, a sack lunch for the children as they return to their schools and homes, prizes and transportation. When you sponsor a child, your name will be placed on a banner of heroes in the reception area of St. Louis University Center for Advanced Dental Education during the event.
You can also make in-kind donations. Chances are that most taxpayers don’t have Lidocaine 2% with 1:100,000 epinephrine anesthetic or Carbocaine 3% without epinephrine anesthetic – but you might have trash bags, plates and napkins to donate.
As always, you want to make sure that your donation is going to a qualified charitable organization. A search using the IRS’ Exempt Organizations Select Check reveals that Give Kids A Smile is on the list. To find out more about the work of the organization, check out their website, like them on Facebook or follow them on Twitter.
Remember, submissions to the 12 Days of Charitable Giving are made by readers and in most cases, I can’t personally vouch for the good work that these folks do. So be generous. But be smart. Do your homework.
For more on making charitable donations, check out some of these prior posts:
- Making Your Gifts Count: 10 Smart Tips For Charitable Giving
- 12 Tips for Year End Charitable Giving
- Ask the taxgirl: Charitable Contributions and Receipts
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