Bright Smiles - Ally Dental Project
We are writing to let you know about a new initiative that the Ally Center is involved in, “ Bright Smiles Ally” and to ask you to consider a contribution to help get the service started and sustained in our community.
New Dawn Enterprises has graciously offered to match all funds raised for the Bright Smiles Project up to $20,000. This means your donation will be doubled, thanks to New Dawn!
This Just In...
New Dawn Enterprises has graciously offered to match all funds raised for the Bright Smiles Project up to $20,000.
This means your donation will be doubled, thanks to New Dawn!
You likely know about the Ally Centre, but we would like to give you a little information to clarify who we are and what we do. In addition to this letter, we have included our brochure which outlines the multitude of services offered at the centre.
Formerly known as the AIDS Coalition of Cape Breton, we have been serving the Cape Breton community for 30 years. The Ally Centre receives core funding from Nova Scotia Health and project funding for short term projects from the NS Department of Health and Wellness and the Public Health Agency of Canada. Projects that do not fall under the scope of these government agencies are all sustained through donations, fundraising or short- term grants. Some of these projects include the Ally health clinic, music therapy, foot care, acupuncture, food bank and our sex worker support program.
The population the Ally Center serves are often referred to as marginalized, excluded or vulnerable. They are typically those people who have faced prolonged difficulties with all or some of the following: poverty, homelessness, mental illness, substance use disorder, social isolation, unemployment, and conflict with the law.
According to the World Health Organization, Oral diseases disproportionally affect the poor and socially-disadvantaged members of society. There is a very strong and consistent association between socioeconomic status (income, occupation and educational level) and the prevalence and severity of oral diseases. This association exists from early childhood to older age, and across populations in high, middle, and low-income countries
No access to dental care and living with dental pain and infection is common for the population the Ally Center works with. We see it every day. Poverty plays a major role in lack of access to dental care. Either people have no coverage or they have no money to pay the 20% co-pay. We want all citizens to be free from dental pain and infection. Oral health is an important part of holistic health and just as important as all other aspects of health.
Over the years, the Ally Centre has been involved in several endeavours to improve access to dental care and we have discovered the extent and complexity of the problem in our communities.
The Ally Centre is taking a two-pronged approach to improving access to dental care for the vulnerable populations we serve.
1) Big picture work: Inclusion of oral health care as a core essential health care service for all Nova Scotians. This will require education, advocacy, policy change, and investment with the desired outcome of accessible dental programs and services for all.
2) Helping people now: Ally Bright Smiles Campaign
Currently the Ally Centre is partnering with the Pictou County Bright Smiles Project. The Bright Smiles Project is coordinated by the Pictou County Mental Illness Family Support Association. This year they received extra funding from the Mental Health foundation to provide dental care for 12 people here in Cape Breton. Working in partnership with some local dentists and the Ally Health Clinic we are now in the process of helping these 12 people get full access to dental care through funds donated from the Pictou group… 5 of those 12 will need all of their teeth extracted and will be receiving dentures.
Noting the success of this limited partnership with the Pictou County Mental Illness Family Support Association, we are now hoping to begin our own Bright Smiles program with a goal of raising $20,000 per year to help more people each year while we continue working towards the big picture!
If you are interested or able to help get us started on our campaign, you can make a donation to the Ally Centre of Cape Breton, Attention: Ally Bright Smiles or Ally Dental project.
The Ally Center is a not for profit, charitable organization and all donations receive a tax receipt for income tax purposes. You can write a cheque and mail it to the Ally Center, drop in with a cheque or cash, go on our website www.allycentreofcapebreton.com and donate through Paypal, or you can call us and we can arrange a way to facilitate a donation.
If you would like to learn more about the campaign, or if you have any questions regarding the project please do not hesitate to contact the Ally Center or the following members of the Dental Health Working Group.
Executive Director, Ally Centre
Janet Bickerton RN
Jillian Roach BSW
Dr. Mike McCarvill DDS
Dr. Louise MacLeod DDS