HOT SPRINGS VILLAGE, Ark — The old saying goes "when you smile, the whole world smiles with you,” but what if you're embarrassed about your smile?
A dentist in central Arkansas is working to change that, by offering a new smile at no cost to one deserving veteran.
For the past two years, Dr. Stephen Raines has been helping patients fix their smiles at Village Dental Clinic in Hot Springs Village. It’s a passion that runs deep in his family.
“My dad is a dentist so what got me into dentistry is that he said he basically wakes up every morning excited to go to work just as he was the first day,” Dr. Raines said.
It’s that passion for helping others that gave him the idea to do something big for someone else.
“I figured if I am going to give something away I want it to be some kind of awesome, deluxe over the top. Not just basic needs, but something really cool. A smile transformation,” Dr. Raines said.
That is how Dr. Raines came up with the idea of the 20K Smile Giveaway, a contest to help a veteran gain their confidence back with a brand new smile.
“There are tons of vets that don't really get the care they need and I want to do something for them that’s not just to fix a few of their small problems. I want to give them a Hollywood smile,” Dr. Raines said.
Since he announced the contest, Dr. Raines has received dozens of submissions from around the state, everywhere from El Dorado to Russellville.
“A lot of them are really emotional. It's a lot of wives nominating husbands talking about how their husband has sacrificed so much, but doesn’t do anything for himself. I’ve had one person, the same person received ten nominations,” Dr. Raines said.
The winning veteran, chosen at random, will receive a complete smile makeover up to $20,000. Dr. Raines said he hopes it not only gives them a new smile, but a boost of confidence.
“I’ve had people I’ve done big work like this for where we deliver the crowns we give them the mirror and they just break into tears. So we are hoping for that kind of reaction,” Dr. Raines said.
If you have a veteran you would like to nominate, visit here.
Nominations are accepted until August 31st.