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Smiling for free dental care

Algonquin students are putting on the second annual Heart of the Matter on April 28. The event consists of a day of free dental care for low socioeconomic Ottawa residents.

Heart of the Matter is a volunteer-run, non-profit event inspired by Gift from the Heart — a similar event on a provincial scale.

Dental hygiene students Caitlyn Buzzi, Brianna McIntyre, Casey Warren and Rachel Charlebois managed to gather over 100 volunteers participating from all across Ottawa for this year’s Heart of the Matter event. These volunteers consist of dental hygiene students, dental assisting students, registered dental hygienists and dentists.

These four students gathered volunteers by presenting a short overview of the event to all the dental hygiene classes as well as the dental assistant classes.

“We mainly gathered students,” said Warren. “Previous graduates have also reached out to us asking if they could be a part of the event and give back to those in need.”

In an ideal world, McIntyre feels the event will run very smoothly due to having more volunteers than the previous year. She also believes they’ll be able to help more of their patients who desperately need dental care.

“The people we’re mostly targeting are the working poor,” said Buzzi. “We just really wanted to make sure that we’re implementing this care to the right community members.”

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