Smiles Beyond The Bars
More About Us
Following the loss of all of her close family members in a short time, Linda Parker Smith, Founder and President of Smiles Beyond the Bars, knew she had to make a change in her life. In 2009 she attended a meeting of Along Side Ministries (ASM), a Christian organization committed to the rehabilitation of men and women coming out of prison. At this meeting, she met a number of former inmates and noted the horrible condition of their teeth and smiles caused by prison life, previous drug use and poverty. Also at this meeting, Collis Huntington, ASM's founder, shared he was seeking volunteer mentors. Since Linda traveled extensively as a successful national dental management practice consultant, she was unable to volunteer, but was moved to do something. It was then Linda envisioned, "I can give them a smile".
After much thought, Linda shared with Collis her plan to start Smiles Beyond the Bars to which he responded it was his answer to a prayer. Linda contacted some of her dental clients re this idea. Dr. Mark Peck didn't hesitate when asked and said "Send me one". The work proved to be extensive, but when the first recipient was done, she had a glorious smile and was ready for the outside world. When asked about his experience, he told Linda to send him another one. Smiles Beyond the Bars was on its way.
Active recruitment of dental professionals and labs started and today more than 60 dentists, their staffs and labs provide valuable in-kind donation of professional dental services and supplies valued at more than $1 million. And 200+ deserving recipients have received the gift of a smile and hope for a renewed life.
FULFILLING A COMMUNITY NEED:
There are several dental clinics operated by nonprofit organizations and staffed by volunteer dentists and hygienists in the Valley delivering professional services to the under-served. However, Smiles is unique in that it is the only organization in Arizona meeting the dental needs of formerly incarcerated women and men by engaging the in-kind services of dentists in their own offices using their own equipment and staff members, thus maximizing their time and professional expertise. Patient needs far exceed the capacity to deliver services.
Although program delivery is in the hands of the dental professionals, the case management function is the key to ongoing success. The duties of the case manager far exceeds its traditional role ranging from recipient selection to ongoing cultivation, retention and acknowledgment of the dental and lab teams to coordinating appointments, supporting the recipients throughout the treatment process and advising them through their financial commitment.
IMPACT: Quantitative & Qualitative
• 200 recipients to date
• Current recidivism rate of 0.1%
• Value of in-kind dental services and lab services since 2009 well over $1 million
• 60 dentists and labs currently participating and providing in-kind professional services
|Address:||32531 North Scottsdale Road Suite 105 #134|
Scottsdale, AZ 85258
|AZ State Tax Credit Info:||Charitable (Working Poor) Tax Credit|
"To see firsthand that folks actually do care about others who made bad choices in life, and take the time, energy, resources, and money to help complete strangers have another opportunity at becoming a respected, transformed citizen and living a God favored life, is absolutely amazing to me.
I believe I was spiritually and emotionally re-constructed while I was in prison and now thanks to Smiles Beyond the Bars the physical re-construction will complete my full transformation and allow me to feel confident and whole again" Frank E.
"Roy and I both have been blessed by Smiles Beyond the Bars. They accepted both of us just shortly after we were married 2014. Prior to being given the opportunity to have my teeth fixed, I was very self-conscious. In my old life, I did a lot of drugs, and drank alcohol to the extreme....causing many years of damage. While I was incarcerated, the dentist in prison, pull teeth; they do not restore them, therefore I had many missing teeth. Not only missing teeth, but my front teeth were chipped and stained. I had difficulty eating any foods that were not soft. I had attended many functions and when pictures had been taken, (I never stopped smiling, because Jesus lives in me and has set me free from my old life), but oh how I would cringe at those pictures. I was so embarrassed and ashamed of my teeth. I would attempt to find ways to smile without showing them. I also shied away from having conversations as much as possible, I felt I must not show my teeth, in fear I would offend someone. I had low self-esteem and lacked confidence when speaking with others.
Roy had been incarcerated for 28 years, and because those dentists just wanted to pull your teeth instead of fixing them, he just stopped going. Roy is in the process of getting his dental work completed. He is overjoyed and so ever grateful to obtain the care he is getting to restore his teeth. Today, my head is lifted up, and I have NO more fear while speaking with others. I have great self-esteem and confidence! And we sure don't have an issue when we smile for the camera today!!
Smiles Beyond the Bars dental program is a Gift from God. We are so grateful to Linda Parker and all the staff at Smiles Beyond the Bars. To all the Dentists, dental assistance, staff at A.T. Still University in Glendale AZ. We love you and we cannot thank you all enough for what you have done and are continuing to do for Roy and I. We pray that God continues to Bless Smiles Beyond the Bars, the Dentist and staff, and all who volunteer in reaching individuals like Roy and I.
WE THANK YOU FROM THE BOTTOM OF OUR HEARTS!"
Roy and Frankie