At times like these when it’s hard to smile, we’re here to help support our oral health partners, plan members and employees, as well as to nonprofits providing food and essential services to those with immediate need in the communities where we all live and work.
If you are able, please consider adding your support to those providing critical relief.
Check back each Tuesday and Thursday for updates and information about the people and organizations we’re supporting in communities across the state.
Coastal Community Action Program (CCAP) is a nonprofit organization that helps low income individuals, families and seniors in Grays Harbor and Pacific Counties. It’s mission is to help those who are less fortunate achieve economic stability. Through job training and placement, energy assistance, food assistance and transportation, CCAP is dedicated to helping people help themselves and each other.
With the uncertain economic climate, CCAP recognizes the growing need to provide nutrition assistance to those in their communities. To help, Arcora Foundation is awarding Coastal Communities Action Program a $6,250 grant to support their Senior Nutrition Program. In an effort to further support these communities and address oral health disparities, Delta Dental and its Arcora Foundation have also provided oral health kits with toothbrushes, floss and fluoride toothpaste.
“Our Senior Meals on Wheels program focuses on doing all we can to keep older adults safe and nourished in our communities. With the contribution of Delta Dental of Washington’s Arcora Foundation, combined with others, we are able to fill that mission.” Lucy Machowek, CFO of Coastal Community Action Program.
For more information and to learn how you can help visit coastalcap.org today.
The Yakima Valley Community Foundation (YVCF) is a philanthropic organization located in the heart of rural central Washington. Central Washington is home to the ancestral land of the people of the Yakima Nation. YVCF has been serving the Yakima Valley for more than a decade providing quality education along with health and civic services to those who have been historically left out or left behind.
With the uncertain economic climate due to COVID-19, YVCF recognizes the growing need to make nutritious food available to those in their Tribal community. To help, Arcora Foundation is awarding The Yakima Valley Community Foundation’s Resilience and Response Fund a $6,250 grant to support Yakima elders and ensure they receive the nourishing food they need. In an effort to further support these communities and address oral health disparities, Delta Dental and its Arcora Foundation have also provided oral health kits with toothbrushes, floss and fluoride toothpaste.
Emily Washines, an enrolled Yakima Tribal member and scholar, is coordinating efforts to ensure that Yakima elders and families get the support they need during this time. According to Emily, “We have volunteers to hunt, fish and gather traditional foods not provided through food banks. Our traditional foods are the ones our elders crave. These funds have helped us distribute the food where it is most needed.”
“This is a great example of working with communities to learn what they believe the best solutions are to uniquely serve their community,” said Sharon Miracle, president and CEO of Yakima Valley Community Foundation.
For more information and to learn how you can help visit yakimavalleycf.org today.
The Port Gamble S'Klallam Foundation is a non-profit organization located in north Kitsap County. The foundation is dedicated to improving the quality of life for Port Gamble S'Klallam Tribal members. One of the foundation's primary goals is to promote wellness among the Tribal community.
During these uncertain times, the Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe has taken action to ensure that Tribal elders receive the nutrition they need. Many elders rely on food delivery from the Tribe throughout the year. While in-person meal delivery to elders has been suspended because of social distancing, elders can still receive weekly frozen meals. To help Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe’s efforts, Arcora Foundation is awarding the Tribe with a grant for $6,250 to help support its frozen meal delivery program. In an effort to further support these communities and address oral health disparities, Delta Dental and its Arcora Foundation have also provided oral health kits with toothbrushes, floss and fluoride toothpaste.
“With support from Arcora Foundation we have been able to cover nutritious meals for our elders and support a local business during this difficult time.” Jolene Sullivan, director of health services, Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe.
For more information and to learn how you can help visit www.pgst.nsn.us today.
Island Senior Resources – a private nonprofit organization located in Northwest Washington – serves approximately one in every eight people in Island County with nutrition assistance programs, caregiver support programs, aging and disability programs, medical transportation assistance and more.
“During March we saw an increase of two and a half times the normal number of new Meals on Wheels (MOW) participants due to the COVID-19 crisis. We are also collaborating with our local food bank to bring grocery products to MOW participants,” said Cheryn L. Weiser, executive director of Island Senior Resources.
Delta Dental and Arcora Foundation applaud the important work of Island Senior Resources and its mission to provide resources which enhance the emotional, social and physical well-being of seniors, adults with disabilities and those who care for them.
To help, Arcora Foundation is proud to award Island Senior Resources a grant for $6,250 to help support the Meals on Wheels program. In an effort to further support these communities and address oral health disparities, Delta Dental and its Arcora Foundation have also provided oral health kits with toothbrushes, floss and fluoride toothpaste.
For more information and to learn how you can help visit senior-resources.org today.
Delta Dental of Washington and its Arcora Foundation are partnering with school districts senior service organizations and community-based nonprofits statewide for Operation Toothbrush – an initiative to provide necessary dental health supplies to communities in need during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The dental health kits -- containing a toothbrush, fluoride toothpaste and dental floss are being distributed statewide. Also included are reminders about how to maintain good oral health at home, as well as information about DentistLink, a free referral service to connect people with urgent dental care, if their dentist isn’t accessible.
Delta Dental notes that it’s important to replace your toothbrush every three months, and hopes that Operation Toothbrush will be particularly helpful for those who may be facing economic hardship during this time.
Across the state nearly 12,000 dental health kits are being distributed – as well as 15,000 additional adult and youth-sized toothbrushes – via school districts, food security organizations, Native-American tribes and nonprofits serving youth, families, seniors and vulnerable populations.
Organizations receiving the dental health kits include Communities in Schools, Northwest Harvest of Eastern Washington, Coastal Community Action Program, The Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation, Island Senior Resources, Meals on Wheels (Spokane), Okanogan Transport & Nutrition, Olympic Community Action Program, Port Gamble S’Klallam Tribe, Rural Resources Community Action Council, Sound Dental Care, Walla Walla Senior Center, and Yakima Valley Community Foundation. In addition, the following organizations received supplies of toothbrushes – Ballard Food Bank, Colville School District, Eatonville School District, Kettle Falls School District, Toothsavers of Washington and Tukwila School District.
Rural Resources Community Action is a private, nonprofit corporation committed to meeting the basic economic and social needs of rural Northeastern Washington. Through education, support and resources they offer real hope to children, seniors and families by helping those in need get on the road to self-sufficiency. Every year, 14,000 people in Washington turn to Rural Resources Community Action for assistance.
With schools shut down for the remainder of the year, many Northeastern Washington K-12 students are going without the social and emotional learning that they would normally be receiving at school. To help, Delta Dental of Washington and Arcora Foundation are awarding Rural Resources Community Action two grants, totaling $16,250, to help them bring social and emotional learning into the homes of children who need it most. "Since school is not in session, thanks to the funds donated by Delta Dental of Washington and Arcora Foundation we are able to create learning boxes. A learning box features age-appropriate art kits and social-emotional learning packets for students in Head Start and K-12 in Stevens, Ferry and Lincoln Counties,” said Rural Resources Community Action CEO Donna Moulton.
For more information and to learn how you can help visit https://ruralresources.org/ today.
With the state unemployment rate swelling to nearly a half-million people, food banks statewide are feeling the pinch as donations have dropped 70 percent while demand has more than doubled over the past several weeks. Recently Gov. Jay Inslee joined key nonprofits and local philanthropies to launch a coordinated, statewide WA Food Fund – managed by Philanthropy Northwest – which will help reach those in need in every corner of the state, including disproportionately impacted communities such as people of color, immigrants and those in rural areas.
Arcora Foundation applauds the efforts, and has donated $25,000 to the Fund, which is raising much-needed support for Food Lifeline, Northwest Harvest and Second Harvest.
If you are able, please consider making a donation at www.wafoodfund.org
When first hearing about Delta Dental’s financial assistance program for its network dental practices, the news came as a huge relief to Dr. Kim Trieu who had purchased the North Everett Family Dental practice just 11 weeks earlier – and had recently invested in new costly digital technology, which was installed at her clinic the very same day Gov. Jay Inslee announced the closure of dental clinics statewide for all non-emergency procedures to help reserve critical personal protection equipment for COVID-19 healthcare workers.
“It was during a really daunting time for me when I first learned about Delta Dental’s offer of support,” said Dr. Trieu, who decided to apply for Delta Dental’s financial assistance. “It’s not the type of offer you’d expect from an insurance company. It feels like a true partnership in supporting dental practices and taking care of our patients, our employees, and their families.”
Dr. Trieu was among the more than 2,200 independent dental practices statewide – many of which were small, start-ups and rural practices which were already financially challenged prior to the COVI19 crisis – to receive financial assistance, from Delta Dental.
The grant fund initially announced as $10 million was increased by Delta Dental to more than $13 million due to the significant need and the volume of applications received. In addition, Delta Dental offered its in-network dentists advance claims payments to assist during the statewide closure – these advances to 808 dentists totaled nearly $10 million in additional support.
For many Walla Walla area seniors who rely on the local senior center’s Senior Round Table for a nutritious lunch and camaraderie, the statewide stay-home order, while necessary, is leaving them at risk of going hungry and social isolation at a time when they need help the most.
To help, Arcora Foundation is awarding nine $6,250 grants to help the Walla Walla Senior Center – and eight other nonprofits across the state in partnership with Area Agency on the Aging – provide support to families, seniors and other vulnerable populations with food relief and essential services during this time of need.
“We are so grateful here at the Walla Walla Senior Center to Arcora Foundation for this donation to our programs. This money will go towards our Senior Nutrition Program and Respite Care Program which are providing free warm meals to seniors through a drive-thru service and Meals on Wheels delivery in four counties (Walla Walla, Asotin, Garfield and Columbia). We are also providing Ensure to seniors who cannot get their nutrition through solid food. Further, we are doing weekly well-check calls to our clients to help combat social isolation during this crisis. We believe in taking care of those who raised us. This is something that we always say to each other here and believe with all of our hearts,” said Tania Seib, executive director of the Walla Walla Senior Center.
For more information, and to learn how you can help visit Walla Walla Senior Center today.
When grocery shopping lately, you’ve likely noticed it’s harder to find staple foods, toiletries, and baby formula. Supply shortages are frustrating for all of us, but for those who were already facing food insecurity before the pandemic, the situation is far more dire.
More than 700,000 people rely on Food Lifeline’s network of 300 food banks, shelters and meal programs each year — and in times of crisis that number grows, as many of the support mechanisms people usually rely on are put on hold. Schools and community centers close, creating a gap in meals for countless families. Seniors, people with chronic conditions, and those with compromised immune systems face higher risks in public spaces, forcing many to remain at home.
Food Lifeline has shifted its operating model to meet this demand by exclusively sourcing the appropriate items needed to fill emergency food boxes. Its immediate focus is to increase the distribution of emergency food boxes to help meet the growing demand as quickly as possible. Food Lifeline has incurred a huge burden of expenses in order to source the additional food, supplies, and transportation required to meet the need. That’s why Arcora Foundation and Delta Dental are proud to support the critical work of Food Lifeline with more than $50,000 to help with the growing need as unemployment numbers – and those relying on food banks – continue to rise statewide.
Watch a brief video from Food Lifeline
“The COVID-19 crisis has caused an unprecedented spike in need for food assistance in our region, while huge changes in food donations and volunteering continue to present major challenges. It will take all the generosity we have received to date and more to ensure our community receives the food it needs to thrive in the face of this crisis. We are so grateful for our friends at Delta Dental and Arcora Foundation. Their partnership is making a big difference in this effort,” said Nate Pedigo, Food Lifeline’s director of corporate and foundation relations.
If you are able, please consider adding your support.
As needs continue to increase for nutritious food across the state, Northwest Harvest is rising to the occasion – providing much-needed hunger relief thanks to the community’s generous donations of money and time.
Hundreds of Spokane area volunteers rally around their community preparing emergency food bags and boxes at Northwest Harvest for those affected by the COVID-19 crisis. As one mom of three small children put it, “I am in complete awe. I called my mama (disabled and ill) and we just cried tears of pure happiness. All this support and love is really erasing so much of my anxiety. I don’t even know you like that, but I LOVE YOU. And so grateful you came across my path. Our cupboards are now full!”
Delta Dental and Arcora Foundation applaud the lifesaving work of Northwest Harvest and it volunteers who are making a huge difference in Spokane and beyond. Arcora Foundation is proud to donate $50,000 in support of these efforts.
For more information, and to learn how you can help visit Northwest Harvest.
Nearly 130 community-based organizations in Greater Seattle are receiving the first round of emergency assistance grants totaling $10.175 million thanks to the Seattle Foundation’s COVID-19 Response Fund.
Delta Dental of Washington applauds Seattle Foundation’s quick response and is proud to count ourselves among the more than 50 companies and dozens of philanthropies, government agencies and individual donors in establishing the fund – including a $110,000 grant from Delta Dental – to help nonprofits providing for our region’s most vulnerable communities with emergency assistance including financial support, healthcare and childcare.
The needs in our community are great and growing, and the scope of this crisis will require aid from many different public and philanthropic sources. Later rounds of grantmaking from the Fund will adapt to the evolving community needs as the situation continues to unfold.
See the complete list of first-round grant recipients and learn how you can help.
As COVID-19 escalates statewide, the Innovia Foundation is spearheading the Eastern Washington Community Response and Recovery Fund to support organizations with deep roots in the community and strong experience in serving the elderly, homeless and others who are highly vulnerable during this crisis.
Delta Dental of Washington is proud to be an early supporter, donating $55,000 to the growing fund. Innovia expects to award the first round of grants later this week, and is inviting the public to complete a survey to help its advisory councils identify the community’s most pressing needs in order to direct financial aid and other resources to where they will make the greatest, immediate impact.
For more information, and to learn how you can help visit Innovia Foundation.
In response to the recent closure of dental practices statewide for all non-emergency procedures resulting from the COVID-19 crisis, Delta Dental of Washington is offering financial assistance – in the form of $13 million in grants (an increase from the previously announced $10 million as a result of a greater than anticipated need), as well as advance payments – for in-network dentists who have independent practices headquartered in Washington state.
“Delta Dental is focused on trying to assist small practices with the initiative,” said Yakima dentist Dr. Kurt Labberton, who serves on Delta Dental’s board.
“Dentists are a critical part of our healthcare system and many are independent small business owners, employing thousands of hygienists, dental assistants and office staff statewide,” said Delta Dental of Washington CEO Mark Mitchke. “During this unprecedented time we need to help dental practices in Washington by doing everything we can to ensure these critical healthcare providers can hit the ground running once statewide practice restrictions are lifted. We will get through this together so our communities can resume access to the full range of quality dental care as soon as practices can reopen.”
Are you looking for ways to educate and entertain your children during this time of school closures and distancing? The Tooth Fairy has you covered with educational videos, free learning materials and resources you can use at home!
The Caring for Your Smile home curriculum – including lesson plans, work sheets, coloring pages, a book reading and a 10-minute educational video featuring the Tooth Fairy – all-available for free download HERE. The materials, developed by Delta Dental in partnership with the School Nurse Organization of Washington have been kid-tested, as well as dentist- and teacher-reviewed.
There are also fun dental health activities you can do with your kids using items you probably already have at home. Click HERE to learn more.
Share the fun you’ve had with these activities by tagging us in your posts on Instagram and Facebook at @ToothFairyWA and #SmileWA!
Before the closure mandate, Delta Dental of Washington was already heavily invested in using ZOOM as a remote meeting tool and supporting its employees with work-from-home capabilities. After the mandate, we quickly moved all employees to remote and transitioned our call centers, providing those employees with the technology and tools they needed to ensure we are there for our benefit subscribers and network dentists.
What happened next was something we did because it was the right thing to do. We ensured all employees, in Seattle, Spokane and Colville, that they would receive their full pay, until the end of June. If employees were to become ill and run out of sick or vacation balance, Delta Dental would cover the rest. The last thing we wanted in this uncertain time, was for our employees to worry about their jobs.
As the Govenor closed schools for the remainder of the school year, Delta Dental saw the stress that home schooling and work was having on parents. Managers revised schedules so employees could have greater flexibility with hours, and gave all employees an additional “family/self care” paid holiday.
Through all the stress and uncertainty during this time, Delta Dental has put its employees front and center, ensuring their health and safety and that of their families.