Every October, teams clad in blue DentaQuest shirts have gone out together into their local communities throughout the country, rolled up their sleeves and made a difference. While the pandemic has shifted DentaQuest’s Mission Month from a live event to a virtual one, it hasn’t changed that spirit and commitment.
That’s because at DentaQuest, our mission is built into everything we do. With that purpose, DentaQuest employees dedicate time to supporting a variety of local organizations.
“I am always very happy and excited for Mission Month!” said DentaQuest provider partner Alesia Miles. “I am so grateful we are able to continue this very important outreach annually.”
This October, DentaQuest launched Mission Month 2021 with more than 1,000 staff members participating – more than half of all employees. Individuals were able to choose from one of three volunteer activities: making and donating blankets, writing cards to service members or first responders or assembling oral health kits. While employees continue to work remotely, for many it was still an important way to connect – with their DentaQuest teammates, as well as their families and communities.
For Alesia Miles, it was an opportunity for her grandchildren to get involved. Together, they wrote cards for active-duty soldiers. As the mother of an Army veteran who served in Iraq, Miles says that she understands how any reminder of home can be incredibly meaningful for an active-duty soldier.
“I was very happy to use this opportunity to let [members of the military] know they are appreciated,” Miles said.
Clinical Review Specialist Keara Fraser and her husband worked together to prepare and distribute oral health kits — filled with toothbrushes, toothpaste and floss — to Barracks Of Hope in Daytona Beach, Florida. The organization helps veterans with transitional housing, meals, counseling and obtaining permanent housing. Fraser says she chose this particular organization as she firmly believes it is imperative to take care of those who have fought so hard to protect our freedoms.
“I have always tried to be involved in my community and volunteering in any way possible,” Fraser said. “I was absolutely honored to be able to participate and contribute to a community that both engages and fosters its members to reach out and really try to make a difference when they are able.”
For Quality Assurance Manager Rachael Bowling, putting together oral health kits was something her kids could participate in, allowing them to give back to the community as a family. They brought their oral health kits to a local organization called The Food Drive, which happened to be collecting personal care items at the local farmers market. Bowling’s DentaQuest teammates also participated in the same activity, with many members of the team working on the kits with their own families.
Alesia Miles’ team also worked together. “We met and completed our kits together virtually as a team,” Miles said. “It has now become an annual tradition!”
For many, DentaQuest’s Mission Month serves as a jumping off point for employees to continue to give back. Bowling says that through the DentaQuest Gives Back program, she was able to double her gift to the Alzheimer’s Association after DentaQuest matched her donation. Additionally, after volunteering one year with the local Cradles to Crayons, an organization that facilitates the donation of new and like-new children’s items to families in need, she started an in-town pajama drive of her own.
“Looking back over the years, Mission Month has had such a major impact on so many,” Bowling said. “What starts as a company-sponsored community service program expands to lifelong giving and support to those in need.”