How it Works

Do you know someone who might make a good candidate for Start a Smile? Maybe that someone is you!

If you’d like to learn more about how to get started, you’ve come to the right place.

How to Apply

As with any organization, there are rules and requirements you’ll need to follow. Here are the basics: Students and families in the Kansas City area who are interested in Start a Smile need to complete an application process, which includes providing some financial information. Students are also required to write a paragraph detailing why they are a good candidate for treatment. They should also provide letters of recommendation from two non-relatives. These non-relatives are often teachers. You will also need to fill out this application.

Finally, students must sign a media release form, and provide either a 5 × 7 or 4 × 6 photograph. Students should be smiling in the photo. The release form allows Start a Smile to share success stories as they happen. Some of those stories could be shared right here on this web site.

Unfortunately, not everyone that applies will be able to receive treatment. Two students are selected each quarter. At this time, candidates must re-submit an application each quarter if they are not chosen, but still want to be considered. Cut-off dates are March 31st, June 30th, September 30th and December 31st.

Start a Smile is changing lives smile by smile, day by day. The process that changes your life, or the life of someone you love could start today!

About Start a Smile

Mission Statement

At Start a Smile Foundation it is our mission to create self-confidence, inspire hope, and change the lives of children in our communities in a dramatic way. The gift of a smile can do all this for a deserving, underserved individual who, in turn, can use this gift to better themselves and their community.

What We Do

Start a Smile Foundation is a charitable non-profit organization that provides orthodontic care to individuals who may not have the opportunity to acquire assistance.

Launched in 2008, Start a Smile Foundation aims to reach individuals with financial challenges, special situations, and orthodontic needs. The Foundation sponsors the orthodontic care of hundreds of patients each year.

Start a Smile Foundation has participating orthodontists throughout the US. Each chapter has its own local Board of Directors who chooses patients to be treated by the Foundation.

Board of Directors

Dr. Jeremy Fry with Fry Orthodontic Specialists is an Olathe native. Having grown up in the community, he is passionate about giving back and helping kids achieve their best.

Amy Martin is owner/operator of Amy Martin Photography, a boutique photography studio in Olathe specializing in contemporary portraits of children and families.

Michael E. Harvel has spent the past 30 years at Dentsply GAC . Over the course of time, he’s held a number of positions, including his current stint as Northwestern Regional Sales Manager.

Matthew Hillman with Smiles for Kids Dentistry based in Overland Park says he loves pediatric dentistry. His goal is to share his knowledge and skills with families in hopes of reducing the occurrence of dental decay in kids.

Brian Allers is an Account Executive with KSHB-TV, better known as NBC Action News. He graduated from the University of Kansas with a degree in Communications, and has been part of Kansas City’s “Breaking News Leader” since 2002.

Jarius Jones is an educator in the Kansas City, Ks School District, specifically in the field of mathematics. He also teaches math at the University of Phoenix in Kansas City, Missouri. His passion for young people is the driving force behind his work.