Letters to the Editor

Donations make a real difference | LETTER TO THE EDITOR

  - Bainbridge Island Review photo
— image credit: Bainbridge Island Review photo

To the editor:

Not too many of your readers may know about Smile Partners. That’s because we’re a bit obscure.

Most of the nonprofit work we do — except our Smiles for Life program for seniors — is elsewhere in Kitsap and King counties. That’s where we provide preventive dental hygiene for low-income kids in the schools.

Yet we’ve been based on Bainbridge Island for 10 years. Our office is located right here in the Marge Williams Center on Winslow Way. And this past year in particular, we’ve been blessed with support from every corner of our community: business, government and a growing number of grassroots donors.

On behalf of our beneficiaries young and old, all of us at Smile Partners want to let our community sponsors know how grateful we are for their support of our cause. Last year, we were able to help more than 5,000 low-income kids fight cavities with our preventive services thanks to their generosity.

I want to start with Columbia Bank. The Tacoma-based business, which has branches on our island and in many communities where we serve schools, is committed to supporting their local communities. This winter, the bank selected Smile Partners as one of three nonprofit recipients in Washington and Oregon to receive grants in honor of the bank’s 20th anniversary. We received a very generous $5,000 gift, which will help support our school-based programs and expansion plans in Kitsap County.

The city of Bainbridge Island continued to support our Smiles for Life program for the elderly with a $4,000 annual contract to manage cases, make referrals and advocate for access to more affordable care. The Bainbridge Community Foundation supported that same program with a $2,500 grant.

And last but not least are all our island’s grassroots donors whose total support is expected to top $10,000 through the current One Call For All cycle.

Thanks to all of you for making a big difference in the everyday lives of those who need our services most.

IMBERT MATTHEE

Executive Director

Washington State Smile Partners

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