When Children’s Dentistry of Forest Park decided to launch its first warm clothing drive, the same question that looms over all such endeavors was on organizers’ minds: how would the community respond?
Between January 13th and 20th, the answer accumulated in seven large boxes that were jammed with a variety of donated items, mostly used coats, snow pants, hats and gloves. Some of the items were brand new, with the tags still in place, and many people donated sweatshirts and fleece pullovers.
In short, the practice’s patients, as well as other community members who came forth, gave a resoundingly warm response to the 2014 Warm Coat & More Drive.
A week ago, two members of the staff delivered the items to Kids Kloset, located at First United Church of Oak Park, 848 Lake St. Kids Kloset offers children’s clothing, at a nominal price, for families who have limited resources.
A member of the Children’s Dentistry staff raised the idea for the drive. The rationale for its timing is that many other warm-clothing collection drives occur in the fall and staff members wanted to offer an outlet after Christmas and other late-year holidays.
Known throughout the community for its “little teeth big smiles” slogan, the Children’s Dentistry’s practice at 1125 S. Harlem Ave, served as the drop-off spot for donations.
It is “very likely” the practice will build on the new tradition next year, said Dr. Jerry Udelson, the founder of Children’s Dentistry.
“It was such a great outpouring of kindness and concern,” Udelson said. “With the extremely cold conditions we have been facing, it’s obvious that people realize we should never take for granted something so basic, so necessary this time of year as warm clothing.”
Children’s Dentistry of Forest Park can be reached at 708-386-5437 (708-FUN-KIDS) and is online at www.kidsdentistforestpark.com.