Stories From Main Street: NJ Teen Brings Thousands Of Toothbrushes To Third World Countries
WOODCLIFF LAKE, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – The tooth fairy is real and she lives in New Jersey. Paige Alenick, 16, of Woodcliff Lake, is on a mission to bring toothbrushes to third world countries. “There are so many little things that we take for granted,” Paige told WCBS 880′s Sean Adams. “Toothbrushes are basically the one main tool that’s needed to help prevent thousands of dental diseases.” Paige gathers toothbrushes on the website DonateAToothbrush.com and then passes along the goods to Dr. Ron Lamb with World Dental Relief.
“I can’t express how valuable Paige has become,” Lamb said. World Dental Relief distributes those toothbrushes around the globe during 400 missions per year. “Many of these people only make two or three dollars a day,” Lamb said. “They can’t afford a toothbrush, they’re trying to fee themselves. A toothbrush is a prized possession, something that they’re going to have for years.” Paige’s mother, Suzanne Alenick, is proud of her daughter’s work. “We know that every single toothbrush in these boxes is affecting someone’s life in a very meaningful and significant way,” Alenick said.
Paige has collected between 21,000 and 22,000 toothbrushes for adults and children in about a year. “What I really love about this project is that it’s so simple but anyone can do it,” Paige said. The toothbrushes have been sent to countries all over the world including Egypt, Papua New Guinea, Kenya and Costa Rica.