Global Smile Foundation + Benco Family Foundation = access to care

In many developing countries, children with cleft lips or palates are generally ostracized from society, unable to go to school or make friends. As adults, patients with the same issues have little chance of making a living.

Fathers often leave the family, believing their child or their marriage, has been cursed; parents will abandon their infant in the hospital, unable to cope with the future the child will face.

For the past three decades, Global Smile Foundation (GSF) has been dedicated to changing those devastating consequences by making first-class cleft care accessible to all patients, regardless of geographic or socioeconomic barriers.

Who supports these positive changemakers?

Every contribution to their organization helps fund life-changing comprehensive cleft care for underserved patients. One of their longtime supporters is the Benco Family Foundation, the charitable division of Benco Dental, the nation’s largest independently owned dental distributor.

“For the past 11 years, support from the Benco Family Foundation has helped Global Smile Foundation provide comprehensive cleft care for underserved patients born with cleft lip and palate.  
The people we serve live in parts of the developing world where access to proper care is extremely limited. By helping us reach these underserved areas, Benco Family Foundation has truly helped us change the lives of our patients and their respective families.”

– Usama Hamdan, MS, FICS, Co-Founder & President of Global Smile Foundation


What a difference a year can make.

In 2019, Global Smile Foundation (GSF) conducted six missions to four countries: Peru, Ecuador, El Salvador and Lebanon. Their teams of expert medical volunteers had evaluated more than 1,000 patients by mid-November in 2019 to determine the best individual treatment plan for each patient.

Their team shared comprehensive cleft care stats for 2019 with thedailyfloss.com:

  • 358 surgical procedures for 285 patients
  • 3,786 dental procedures for 576 patients
  • 520 speech therapy procedures and sessions, including 144 feeding consultations
  • 126 Psychosocial consultations

Learn how you can support Global Smile Foundation and keep the positive changes happening: visit their website for details.

Butterfly? Magical mentor? Benco Tooth Fairy illuminates preschoolers #NationalToothFairyDay

As the Benco Tooth Fairy took flight after a visit with the Illumination Early Learning Center in Kingston, Pennsylvania, Macklan, one pre-school student asked, “Where did that butterfly go?”

Pat Motyka, a 10-year associate at the nation’s largest independently owned dental distributor, delivers smiles to youngsters throughout the year, but there’s no better time to share a tale of her recent adventures than today — #National Tooth Fairy Day.

Unless it’s during a visit to the dentist, people rarely volunteer details on their toothbrush and floss habits. Not the case with this pre-school class. Sixteen students were more than willing to express their enthusiasm for dental hygiene, as well as a love and admiration for the Benco Dental Tooth Fairy.

Resplendent in white attire and a glittering crown and wings, Pat Motyka, a Tooth Customer Service Specialist at the dental distributor’s home office in Pittston, entered the preschool classroom for a visit last fall.

“Visitors absolutely help the classroom. I think sometimes when the message is conveyed by another person (not the teacher or parent) they truly take it to heart. “

Elizabeth Muller, a teacher at Illumination Early Learning Center

Students intently listened and watched as the Tooth Fairy spoke on the importance of brushing and flossing, and handed out cartoon coloring sheets with a little magical help from Benco Associate Debby Wargo. Her audience jumped to the task when she offered a hands-on experience brushing the teeth of Finn, a plush shark puppet used for dental hygiene demos (shown at top).

Students coloring at Illumination Early Learning Center

Teacher Amy Wall reminisced about her childhood experience with a loose tooth.

“When I was little, I didn’t want to eat an apple because my tooth was loose and wiggly. So I would only eat mashed potatoes and jelly. One day at school I forgot and ate the apple. My tooth was stuck in it and I didn’t even realize it came out. I was a little bit petrified.”

Amy Wall a teacher at Illumination Learning Center

Students rushed to impress Tooth Fairy Pat with their brush and floss routines. An excited young boy raised his hand to explain that his Mommy always tells him to floss his teeth.

Wall said even before the Tooth Fairy arrived, students were excited and trying to guess what she would wear, some asking: “Do you think she’ll have wings?”

Before the Tooth Fairy made her exit for the journey back to Benco, she gifted each child with a take-home package, including a dental kit, stickers and other surprises.

Though new to the Tooth Fairy role, with just a few classroom visits under her wings, Motyka brings 10 years of dental industry experience to her position at Benco Dental.

Benco Tooth Fairy Pat Motyka with students at Illumination Early Learning Center in Kingston, Pennsylvania.

Along with being seen as a role model for many of the children and adding some sparkle to their day, she feels her visits always make an impact.

“A lot of parents don’t tell their kids about dental health — I know mine didn’t. I think it’s important, because that’s the first thing you see when you talk to someone: their teeth. Benco was kind enough to donate tooth gel, toothbrushes, and brushing charts for the dental kit, which will help them.”

Benco Tooth Fairy Pat Motyka

For details or more information, visit benco.com or call 1.800.GO.BENCO.

Benco Family Foundation Schedules Trio of Lessons in a Lunchbox Events for Chicago Schools

Benco Dental’s charitable arm will join the Children’s Oral Health Institute in hosting Lessons in a Lunchbox programs during the 2020 Chicago Dental Society Midwinter Meeting.

February is National Children’s Dental Health Month, and in celebration, the Benco Family Foundation, together with the Children’s Oral Health Institute, plans to build on their strong relationship with Chicago Public Schools to host three Lessons in a Lunchbox events during this year’s Chicago Dental Society Midwinter Meeting.

Last year, the foundation gifted toothbrushes to every single student, from pre-K to elementary, in all 469 Chicago public schools, so that over 150,000 smiles could have the one basic essential for healthy teeth—something most people take for granted, but that a shocking number of children go without. However, you can’t just put a toothbrush in a child’s hand and walk away. That’s where Lessons in a Lunchbox: Healthy Teeth Essentials & Facts About Snacks comes in. This national oral health and nutrition program reaches underserved elementary school children by offering an ingeniously-shaped holder — a carrot — packaged in a bright orange lunchbox with all the supplies needed for healthy teeth.

This year, the two organizations will present Lessons In A Lunchbox at the following schools:

  • Jackie Robinson Elementary School on Wednesday, 2/19, at 1 p.m., 4225 S. Lake Park Avenue. (773) 535-1777.
  • John Charles Haines Elementary School on Thursday, 2/20, at 1 p.m., 247 West 23rd Place. (773) 534-9200.
  • Oscar DePriest Elementary School on Friday, 2/21, at 1 p.m., 139 S Parkside Avenue.  (773) 534-6800.

Benco Family Foundation representatives will be on hand for the event at John Charles Haines Elementary, and invite members of the media to also attend.

Dr. Winifred J. Booker created Lessons in a Lunchbox over two decades ago and has worked to expand its adoption in her larger role as CEO of the Children’s Oral Health Institute. The program’s cornerstone is the ingeniously crafted, carrot-shaped carrying case designed to teach elementary school children the importance of dental hygiene with information in English, Spanish, and braille. Before children receive their bright lunchboxes of treasures (a plastic carrot filled with a toothbrush, toothpaste, dental floss, and rinse cup) the group follows a prepared lesson plan and enjoys short films about proper brushing and flossing techniques.

The program’s bright orange lunchboxes each contain a plastic carrot complete with toothbrush, toothpaste, dental floss, and rinse cup.

“As access to care continues to be a challenge for the underserved, prevention is a more important part of our strategy than ever before. Lessons in a Lunchbox makes teaching good oral healthcare and nutrition habits at an early age fun and impactful. The program is valuable to every single student it touches because it helps build better educated and healthier communities.”

Rebecca Binder, Executive Director of the Benco Family Foundation.

Since 2015, the Benco Family Foundation has been helping people across the globe through toothbrush donations with its Buy-One-Give-One program. For every PRO-SYS brand adult tapered or antimicrobial toothbrush purchased, the philanthropic arm of America’s largest family-owned dental distributor donates a toothbrush to someone in need. But the Benco Family Foundation is about much more than toothbrushes. Dedicated to improving the dental health and quality of life in its local communities and around the world, it supports over 100 organizations, delivering innovative dental health solutions through monetary donations, as well as free product, to support dental missions, clinics and organizations. The foundation continually reviews new opportunities to underwrite oral health solutions and community resources that are innovative, sustainable, measurable and impactful.

About Benco Dental

Benco Dental Drives Dentistry Forward℠ through innovative solutions and a caring family culture. Company firsts include CenterPoint design/equipment superstores, OneVisit™ open architecture CAD/CAM, Painless® electronic ordering and automated supply management. Independent since founded by Ben Cohen in 1930, Benco has grown to become the country’s largest family-owned dental distributor. Over 1,400 dedicated associates serve customers at locations coast-to-coast including 400+ sales representatives and 300+ factory-trained service technicians. Benco is one of Fortune’s Best Workplaces in Health Care and Biopharma for three consecutive years, a NAFE Top Company for Executive Women for two consecutive years, and among Pennsylvania Best Places to Work® for 12 of 14 prior years.
For more information, visit benco.com or call 1.800.GO.BENCO.

Get giving in October! Support Keep A Breast Foundation™

The Keep A Breast Foundation™, a non-profit organization, uses art and educational programs to raise awareness of practices of prevention and early detection of breast cancer.

Their mission: to empower young people around the world with breast health education and support.

During the month of October, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Benco Dental is donating $.40 cents for every box of Natural Extensions® Fuchsia Gloves sold and $.50 for every box of Natural Extensions® Fuchsia Masks sold to the Keep A Breast foundation.

Last year, the nation’s largest family-owned dental distributor presented Keep A Breast Foundation with a check for $24,516.

How is Keep A Breast making a difference?

They’ve created the Check Your Self app, free, with over 67,000 downloads and counting.

According to their website, here’s what you can expect:

  • Step-by-step self-check instructions including animated gifs (artwork by Sandi Calisto)
  • Schedule an automatic monthly reminder
  • Breast health information
  • In-app sharing tools
  • Available in 6 languages (more to come!)

Early detection is the key and knowing what is “normal” for your body is an integral part of that. We developed our Check Yourself! App to do just that: help young women all over the world to develop a healthy life-long relationship with their bodies. By checking yourself once a month, you are able to detect abnormalities at the first sign of change.

We wanted to create something to support women all over their world and assist in their access to healthcare, literally putting lifesaving information in the palm of their hand: give them a step-by-step guide, tips, information, and automatic scheduling in order to make it as simple and accessible as possible. That way, people would be most likely to really carry out a self-check routine.

Keep-A-Breast.org/check-yourself-app
Courtesy https://www.keep-a-breast.org/blog/breast-cancer-prevention-gift-guide-2019

How can you support the cause?

During October, Breast Cancer Awareness Month, a number of brands join in this effort to raise funds and awareness. Keep A Breast features a gift guide almost 40 products ranging from surf fins to nursing pads. Visit their site to view apparel, beauty products and so many unique items that support Keep A Breast with your purchase.

Check out the Keep A Breast Gift Guide: click here.

Courtesy https://www.keep-a-breast.org/blog/breast-cancer-prevention-gift-guide-2019

Benco Dental gets creative about community support

The giving season is every season at Benco Dental. This month, it includes a Christmas in July food drive at the company’s home office in Pennsylvania. Each department competed to see who could raise the most money and donate the most food.

The CEO Food Bank in Pittston, Pennsylvania.

The money collected is being donated to the Dolly Parton Imagination Library, and the food is being donated to the CEO (Commission on Economic Opportunity) Food Bank. The competition took place over the past two weeks, and the departments got a little competitive.

Dolly Parton’s Imagination Library

Talk about competitive spirit

Truckloads of donations in the IT department

Benco associates unload a trailer full of non-perishables donated by the IT department.

The IT department was determined to donate as much food as they possibly could for the food drive.

To accomplish this goal, some associates brought in trailers full of non-perishables to contribute.

By Friday, July 19, the IT department had collected a whopping 1,452 pounds of canned goods and other non-perishables.

“Wow… the most impressive thing about the win is that we won for the right reasons. The IT Team really got behind giving back to the community and making a difference – mission accomplished! Thank you to everyone in the IT team who passionately participated!”

Benco Chief Information Officer Mike Burns

What’s better than a sweet treat after lunch?

Associates in the Marketing and Supply Chain department decided to take a sweeter route to help raise their donations.

The team decided to host a bake sale in Kitty’s Kitchen, the company cafeteria where all of the CenterPoint East associates eat lunch during work days.

The Marketing and Supply Chain team members contributed baked goods for the sale, and their hard work resulted in an additional $365 in donations.

Operations department takes action to ‘ketchup’ in the rankings

Lisa Fuller, Director of the Contact Center, was determined to help the Operations department a higher ranking than in previous years.

That would explain why Lisa and two of her peers, John Muscovitch, National Facilities Manager, and Tony Smigelski, Director of Inventory Control and Returns, dressed as the summer picnic favorites of ketchup, mustard and a hot dog to solicit donations around the building.

Operations department associates at Benco Dental dressed in festive costumes to create excitement for the Christmas in July community fundraiser from left: Lisa Fuller, Director of the Contact Center, John Muscovitch, National Facilities Manager, and Tony Smigelski, Director of Inventory Control.

The effort put forth by the three Operations associates proved to be effective, considering they earned $187 on their walks around the building.

They traveled around the second floor and down to the first floor of the building to see if their costumes would persuade employees in other departments (aka their fundraising rivals) to donate.

The Operations Trio collects donations from associates in the Tooth Room.

Apart from their costumed collection to help out good causes, the Operations and Finance team divisions also hosted a “pie-the-manager” or “pie-the-supervisor” competition, where associates could contribute funds via individual jars that featured their managers’ and supervisors’ names.  

How did the competition ‘wrap’ up?

The food drive competition drew to its end Wednesday, July 24, and the results have finally been announced.

The IT department led the company in first place, managing to collect a total of 4,571.20 lbs. of food and monetary donations. This beats their last year’s total of 3,603.75 lbs.

Overall, the entire building raised a grand total of 11,868.87 lbs. in both food and monetary donations. This beats last year’s total by 77 lbs.

Who’s getting a pie in the face?

As the food drive came to an end, so did the intense sub-competition within the Operations and Finance Departments.

All Operations Managers and Supervisors were at risk of getting a face full of pie, but only two will actually have to face the desserts head on.

Darren Savage, Returns and Vendor Credits Supervisor, had a total of $422.95 donated to the Pie-the-Manager competition. Mike Zwierko, Manager of the Distribution Center, earned second place with donations placed in his jar. These two Benco Associates were able to collect the most money and food within the Operations Department and each will receive a face full of pie next week.

Pie, hot dogs, baked goods … it all led to more support for those in need in one Pennsylvania community

No matter who ends up getting pied, all that matters is that the Benco community was able to come together to make a difference for those in need.

Benco Family Foundation provides support for oral health care for underserved children in Boston

On March 23, children and families visiting Tufts University School of Dental Medicine in Boston received free chair-side dental screenings and oral health education. For the second year, the Benco Family Foundation has supported the ADA Give Kids A Smile Day event hosted at Tufts by providing toothbrushes, flossers and two-minute timers.

“Providing children with the dental supplies they need to practice good oral health care at home is part of the Benco Family Foundation mission to educate children on the importance flossing and brushing. We are dedicated to improving dental health in our local communities and proud to partner with Tufts at Give Kids A Smile Day,” said Rebecca Binder, Benco Family Foundation Executive Director.

The ADA’s Give Kids a Smile Day, created in 2003 by the ADA Foundation treats more than 5.5 million children per year, many with inadequate access to care. Cavities are the most common chronic disease of children in the United States: 80 percent of tooth decay is found in 20 to 25 percent of children, many of whom live in low-income households and do not have routine access to dental care. The faculty, staff, and students at Tufts, under the guidance of Dr. Martha Forero, provide a fun and educational environment for the oral health care of children at the Give Kids A Smile day, especially for those children without a dental home.

Since 2015, the Benco Family Foundation has assisted people worldwide through PRO-SYS® toothbrush donations with its Buy-One-Give-One program, and in that time has donated more than 1.1 million toothbrushes. For every PRO-SYS adult tapered or antimicrobial toothbrush purchased from Benco Dental, the philanthropic arm of America’s largest family-owned dental distributor donates a toothbrush to someone in need.

The Benco Family Foundation is dedicated to improving the dental health and quality of life in its local communities and around the world. Established in 2005, the foundation supports oral health solutions and community organizations that are innovative, sustainable, measurable and impactful.

Learn more about the Benco Family Foundation: bencofamilyfoundation.org

About Benco Dental

Benco Dental, headquartered in Northeastern Pennsylvania, is the largest family-owned dental distributor in the United States, offering a full array of supplies, equipment and services to dentists across the nation. Founded in 1930 by Benjamin Cohen, the company has remained family-owned and focused on its unique mission to “deliver success, smile after smile.”

Within the past 88 years, the company has grown from a single downtown location to a national network that includes five distribution centers, and three design showrooms, one at the company’s Pa. headquarters, one in Southern California, and one in Texas.

Benco, which has been named one of Fortune Best Workplaces in Health Care and Biopharma for the past three years, one of the NAFE Top Companies for Executive Women for the second consecutive year, and Pennsylvania’s Best Places to Work® for 12 of the past 14 years, is proud to feature a highly skilled team of more than 400 professionally trained sales representatives and over 300 factory-trained service technicians. For more information, visit benco.com or call 1.800.GO.BENCO.

Support Oral Cancer Cause at today’s SocialThon #occsharingiscaring

In conjunction with the amazing Oral Cancer Cause, Inc. team of Linda Miles and Robin Morrison, John Stamper, Founder of DentalCast Productions announces that Dentistry’s First Ever, “Socialthon” will be hosted LIVE on the DentalCast Productions Facebook Page today, April 26,  from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. EST Donate today: https://oralcancercause.org/product/2019-socialthon-donation/ Stamper referred to today […]

Though she doesn’t wear a cape, this San Diego dentist is a H.E.R.O to many. #ie40under40

Earning a degree is expensive. Total student loan debt in the U.S. today amounts to $1.52 trillion, according to Forbes. With a financial burden weighing on her shoulders, Dr. Malieka Johnson, DDS, is uncomfortably acquainted with the student loan debt struggle — and that’s why she’s putting a stop to it. Dr. Johnson, raised by […]