For the ninth consecutive year, the schoolchildren of Ridgefield collected new toothbrushes for the children of Honduras.
The first toothbrush drive was in 2002, and 700 toothbrushes were collected that year. This year, all nine public schools in Ridgefield as well as Ridgefield Academy, St. Mary's School, and the Wooster School participated in this effort, and 9,717 toothbrushes were collected.
This year's toothbrush drive was in February, which is National Childrens' Dental Health Month. Ridgefield residents Randall Baldwin, a dentist, and Christel Autuori, a dental hygienist, spoke to groups of Ridgefield students about their work in Honduras as co-president of Cape CARES (Central American Relief Efforts), telling the youngsters about how the children there are so poor that they don't even have toothbrushes.
The generous and compassionate Ridgefield students in the middle schools not only donated more than 9,000 toothbrushes but also made cards and letters in Spanish explaining the importance of daily toothbrushing and good dental health. The students at Ridgefield High donated money to purchase fluoride so that the Honduran children could have topical fluoride applied to their teeth to help prevent cavities. And Sunday School children at St. Andrew's Lutheran Church collected vitamins and over-the-counter pain medicine to send with the shipment.
Thank you—MUCHAS GRACIAS—to the children of Ridgefield from the children in Honduras for all your help.
Each year, Dr. Baldwin and the author lead a team of medical and dental volunteers to the village of San Marcos de Langue in southern Honduras. To learn more about Cape CARES and how you can help bring much-needed health care to those in need, please visit the website at www.capecares.org. or contact Christel Autuori at firstname.lastname@example.org.