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A perfect opportunity to give back

Aug. 11, 2022
Elina Katsman, RDH, had no idea a trip to the Dominican Republic would lead to the very successful Smiles Foundation. The charitable organization has exploded, and she's seeking remote volunteers.
Jackie Sanders, MBA, RDH, Chief editor, RDH magazine

When she traveled to the Dominican Republic for a short vacation in 1984, Elina Katsman, RDH, who was a dental assistant at the time, was struck with the poor condition of children's teeth. A volunteer and giver at heart, she decided she needed to do something to help.

Katsman returned home to Toronto and studied to become a dental hygienist. In 1987 she set out to spend a year in the Dominican Republic and begin her volunteer work. One year stretched to 15 as she watched her charitable organization, Smiles Foundation, explode.

Today, Smiles Foundation serves the Dominican Republic, United States, and Canada, where Katsman lives. As people's needs continue to grow, she's calling on her peers to support Smiles Foundation in any way they can.

"We're looking for volunteers in the field who can potentially dedicate a few hours a week to help out in our donor relations team," she said. "We need help both in the US and Canada. Of course, today's remote volunteering is borderless, so it's easy and helps with some incredible needs."

Katsman invites everyone to visit the Smiles Foundation website to learn more, and hopefully be inspired to volunteer. Feel free to email [email protected] to have your questions answered directly. There are opportunities to donate time, money, or both.