Dr. Sandra Vargas and her husband, John Jennings, of North Atlanta Family Dentistry, are no strangers to international charity work. They have participated in mission trips for several organizations for years. Frustrated by administrative costs to run the charities, Dr. Vargas and John vowed to do something on their own where 100% of the funds raised would actually go to the people in need. Together We Smile is the result!
The mission of Together We Smile, a 501(c)3 non-profit organization, is to provide help for those struggling for basic life needs in impoverished communities in Colombia and other areas of South and Central America. Our mission team visits communities that have desperate needs are trapped in a cycle of extreme poverty. Together We Smile provides medical aid, basic health education and supplies to support day to day survival of the people, mostly women and children, that live in these areas.
There is minimal infrastructure for the people that live in these remote areas. Basic services are unavailable and transportation is extremely limited. The women and children that live in these communities have been put aside by society and local government. They suffer from a lack of clean water, inadequate nutrition, sexual and mental abuse, poor education, minimal access to jobs, and inequalities due to gender, age, and social status.
Medical Missions – extreme demand for Dental Care! Many systemic illnesses are caused by oral infections. We find children and adults in these suffering communities that have gone years with ongoing infections and recurring abscesses, leading to major illnesses and even death. These problems cause tremendous hardship on the entire community, using up resources, causing an inability to work, and taking away from children’s educational opportunities. In every mission we have completed, we find desperate people who have waited weeks for our arrival. We once had a family walk for four days to meet our group in a remote village in the Andes. As well as treatment, we have young team members that can relate to the children and educate them on the benefits of good oral health and how to take care of their teeth and gums.
Immediate Care and more! A great part of the dental profession is seeing immediate results… “TOGETHER WE SMILE” is much more. We not only provide emergency dental care to those in need, but we also work to establish a basic level of health education in the community starting with the children who are eager to learn, we deliver as many donations as our team members can pack and we encourage other members of the medical profession to join our cause to have a greater impact. We have delivered treatment, counseling, clothes, glasses, uniforms, wheelchairs, medical equipment, school supplies, and countless other items. Our mission is to use our limited time to make the biggest impact possible on the communities we are fortunate enough to serve. On our last mission, the transportation company we hired returned our money on our last mission day, as a thank you for helping the community, and we immediately took the money to a medical supply store and purchased wheelchairs for a local elderly home.
The team from Together We Smile has traveled multiple times to Colombia, as well as Costa Rica, Honduras, Peru, and Fiji, as well as locally with other charities in Gwinnett, Forsyth, and Fulton County. Please know that 100% of your donation will be used toward supporting our mission. The doctors and team members all donate his/her time, resources, and services to Together We Smile missions with the purpose of improving the conditions and giving hope to those in need.
As a patient of North Atlanta Family Dentistry, you will be comforted to know that your team cares about you and the world around us!