Helping Local Students in Need Maintain a Healthy Smile


Direct Relief is working with the United Way of Santa Barbara County to help 200 local families in need maintain healthier smiles by providing supplies and hygiene education to children participating in the Fun in The Sun (FITS) program.

Fun in the Sun is a nationally-recognized summer learning program for homeless and low-income children. Qualifying students participate in educational and recreational activities as well as receive fresh meals and school supplies at no cost to the families involved.

Today was the first day this summer that Direct Relief was on hand at one of the FITS sites – El Camino Elementary School –  to teach the students brushing and flossing techniques that they can then share with their families.  Each child will be given a dental kit to take home filled with enough toothbrushes, toothpaste, floss for their entire family.

Dental care is the greatest unmet health need in Santa Barbara County, especially among children.  To help fill this need, each year Direct Relief distributes thousands of kits to children and adults locally as part of its Healthy Smiles program that began in 1994.

This year’s Fun in the Sun dental kits were packed at Direct Relief’s headquarters earlier this month by local Boy Scout Troop 1 (pictured right). Direct Relief has supported Fun in the Sun with dental kits and dental education every summer for nearly 15 years.

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