“Sending Smiles to Sendai”: Mentor High School Student Government launches Organizes Toothbrush and Dental Hygiene Supply Collection Drive for Victims of Japanese Earthquake
A massive 8.9/9.0 magnitude earthquake struck the Pacific Ocean near Northeastern Japan at 2:46pm March 11 (Japan Standard Time) causing damage with blackouts, fire and tsunami. The epicenter of the earthquake was located just 80 miles off the coast of the city of Sendai. The Japanese government has estimated over 10,000 fatalities and thousands of others are displaced and in need of food, water, shelter, medical aid and also personal hygiene items.
Mentor High School Student Government President, Alex Catanese, thought of a way that his school could help these thousands of victims who were left homeless by this devastating natural disaster. He chose a different approach than just collecting monetary donations for the Japanese earthquake victims.
Alex and several other students who are involved with the Mentor High School Student Government have organized a toothbrush collection drive called “Sending Smiles to Sendai”. They chose to name their collection drive after the Northern city of Sendai, where the epicenter of the earthquake was located and because it was one of the hardest hit areas. MHS Student Government is asking students, faculty, staff and also community members to donate newly packaged toothbrushes and other dental hygiene products, such as toothpaste, dental floss, and mouthwash, to help those affected by this devastating disaster.
Students have made phone calls to local dentists, asking for donations and have collected a large amount of supplies already. Collection boxes will be at Mentor High School until Monday, March 21 when they will ship them to Operation USA in California who will distribute them to the Japanese.