More than 5,000 North Phoenix schoolchildren – some of whom have never even seen a toothbrush – will receive their own dental health kits during the 2013-14 school year, thanks to the generosity of Henkel, an international manufacturing corporation with offices in Scottsdale.

Through their MIT corporate project, Making an Impact upon Tomorrow, Henkel awarded $7,500 to John C. Lincoln’s Desert Mission Children’s Dental Clinic. It is the first time Henkel has supported John C. Lincoln’s community services.

The funds will be used to purchase the components of Desert Mission’s SMILE kits that include a toothbrush, dental floss, toothpaste and dental hygiene education in both English and Spanish.

The kits, assembled by John C. Lincoln volunteers, are distributed by a dental hygienist who visits 15 elementary schools in the John C. Lincoln service area and screens children for dental health.

Children with dental health issues – which can range from cavities to serious abscesses – are referred to the Children’s Dental Clinic for care if they are uninsured or underinsured. Approximately 8,000 children are screened during the school year.

“This grant will make a huge difference for children in our service area, some of whom have urgent dental needs,” said John C. Lincoln Health Foundation CEO Marcia Mintz. “We are extremely grateful to Henkel for their generosity.”