Lindsey Baldwin, a junior and honors student at Staples High School in Westport, has created a toothbrush and oral care products drive to help the people of Honduras. She has donation bins set up in and around the Westport area. Lindsey will be delivering the donations collected to Honduras to help these children and adults this February on a mission trip with a non-profit called Cape CARES.
Lindsey’s grandfather, a retired dentist, has been going to Honduras for many years with Cape CARES to help improve dental care in some of the most impoverished areas in the country. Lindsey has grown up seeing the way her grandfather has been involved in service to others so she created a way that she could be of service by enlisting the support of her own community.
Lindsey approached several pharmacies and dental associations in the Westport area asking if they will support her efforts by allowing her to place a donation bin with signage explaining her drive in their stores and offices. As of now, Shoreline Integrative Pharmacy and the Dental Center of Westport have collection bins for donations. Lindsey is looking to get more locations in the area over the next month to support her drive and that coincides with National Dental Hygiene Month in October. To date Lindsey has collected 375 toothbrushes, 200 toothpastes, and 288 cartridges of floss.
As Lindsey discovered, most children and adults in Honduras do not have access to toothbrushes for basic oral hygiene care. By not brushing their teeth, these children and adults will develop cavities and gum disease. Additionally, when bacteria in the mouth is not brushed away, respiratory diseases such as pneumonia can occur, along with heart attacks since the bacteria from the mouth can infect the bloodstream and lining of the heart.
As Lindsey says, “An act of kindness as small as a donation of one toothbrush or one dollar can have a profound impact on people less fortunate than we are. As an aspiring doctor, I am so excited to personally deliver the community’s generous donations and see all the newfound smiles first hand.” Lindsey has also set up a Facebook fundraiser called Lindsey’s Toothbrush Drive to help raise money to purchase toothbrushes for the people of Honduras. Here is the link to her drive.
Cape CARES is a humanitarian non-profit organization sending volunteer teams to its clinics — located in remote, mountainous areas of Honduras — to provide free medical and dental care to people who have no access to care. Because they return to their clinics three times per year, they are able to offer follow-up care to the men, women, and children treated on previous visits.
Cape CARES provides skills, supplies, and the educational training necessary to achieve a higher level of health and well-being for the villagers. With the ongoing enhancement of their services, they are able to implement preventive health care programs.