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Phoenix-Based Nonprofit Changes Name, Expands its Mission
After nearly eight years of steady growth in helping formerly incarcerated people receive the restorative dental work they needed to start life anew, Smiles Beyond the Bars is expanding its mission and changing its name to Smiles and Beyond to accommodate more individuals in need, specifically victims of domestic violence.
The organization has served more than 300 formerly incarcerated women and men since its inception in late 2010 and is anticipating 25 domestic violence survivors to become recipients this year. Smiles and Beyond is growing rapidly as it continues to fulfill its mission of helping women and men regain confidence, get jobs and comfortably settle into their new lives.
“We’ve seen so many success stories from the women and men who have been selected to receive our services for the major dental work they so desperately needed,” said Founder and CEO Linda Parker-Smith. “We see the same opportunity to help the victims of domestic violence, and it starts with helping them to smile.”
It’s a natural expansion for Smiles and Beyond. The faith-based organization began as an idea in 2009 after Parker-Smith lost many of her close family members around the same time. With a background in all aspects of dental care management, Parker-Smith discovered helping formerly incarcerated women and men was her calling after attending a meeting of Along Side Ministries (ASM), which focuses on rehabilitation. From there, she amassed a local community of 60 dentists and dental labs that provide in-kind services, resources, supplies and talents to help nearly 100 recipients annually.
Smiles and Beyond has seen how successful dental restorations can be for the nearly 300 women and men who have already experienced the nonprofit’s in-kind services totaling nearly $8 million in dental treatments to date. As Smiles and Beyond begins to serve this new demographic, the Board is actively accepting donations.