The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Life!

February 15, 2012

Braced for blessings

Since July 2010, a local orthodontist has gone above and beyond to create smiling faces across our region.

Dr. Daniel Foley, of Foley Orthodontics, established a foundation called Smile for a Lifetime, which provides braces at no cost to individuals in southern West Virginia who cannot afford them.

So far, Dr. Foley has provided 14 individuals with braces at no charge and the program is still accepting applicants.

“The mission of Smile for a Lifetime is to create self-confidence, inspire hope and change the lives of children in our community in a dramatic way,” Foley said. “The gift of a smile can produce a positive influence in an individual’s personal and professional life.”

One recipient of this unique gift says this program was a blessing.

Jonathan Hunt, of Sophia, was selected in January 2011 to receive his free braces.

“My teeth were crooked, but beyond that, I’m actually going to school to become a pastor and I do a lot of public speaking.”

He says his teeth always made him self-conscious.

“I used to half-smile so people couldn’t see how crooked my teeth are. When I’m preaching, it’s hard to not let your teeth show because I’m talking in front of an audience.”

He says he is very excited to see the finished product when his braces are removed in late March or early April.

“I feel extremely humbled and grateful. Quite honestly, it was a blessing. I really appreciate what (Dr. Foley) has done for me and so many others he’s helped with his organization.”

Smile for a Lifetime will award one set of braces per month to individuals who could not otherwise afford orthodontic treatment. Thus far, Foley Orthodontics has funded the program entirely on its own, which is approximately a $60,000 donation to the community each year.

The foundation does have income guidelines. The program targets children who have no orthodontic coverage, such as families on the WVCHIP program.

If you, your child or a deserving individual you know could benefit from Smile for a Lifetime, applications can be found online at www.theperfectsmile.com.

— E-mail: wholdren@register-herald.com

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