A Smile for a Smile

Heroes In Waiting is ALL SMILES to announce our new partnership with the amazing souls at Orthodontic Associates. With their huge heart for kids’ mental health, this cause-minded corporation is offering some of their patients who pay for their orthodontic treatment up front the option to donate the entire cost of treatment to Heroes in Waiting.

“We are overwhelmed,” says Heroes In Waiting executive director Jim Stewart. “To not just serve their community, but to give their patients the opportunity to serve with them…it’s just one of the coolest things we’ve ever seen. So grateful to be working with them.”

As individuals who engage with children and their families daily, the professionals at Orthodontic Associates have witnessed the detrimental impact of bullying on young individuals’ mental well-being. Following the heartbreaking loss of two young patients, they felt compelled to take action.

They began by reaching out to mental health organizations like 988 Oklahoma. They offered their staff training to detect the signs of hopelessness and suicide ideation in kids, and built a page of mental health resources on their website. Then they heard about Heroes In Waiting.

“Beyond resources, we were really seeking to walk alongside these kids in a meaningful way that would make a difference,” says marketing manager Rachel Bohanan. “One day in a staff meeting, one of our doctors asked if there was any way we could involve our patients, and that’s how this idea was born.”

The “A Smile for a Smile” program not only raises critical funding for youth mental wellness, it makes sure patients understand that donating their smile treatment to Heroes in Waiting will make a lifelong impact on kids just like them. By working on their best smile, they’re empowering other students with things like self-confidence, empowerment, and hope, and standing up to the tragic consequences of bullying like loneliness, hopelessness, and suicide.