Greenville Business Donates 20,000 Toothbrushes - WSPA.com

Greenville Business Donates 20,000 Toothbrushes

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GREENVILLE, S.C. -

For most of us, a toothbrush is a pretty simple necessity.  "We take them for granted," says Jonathan Shanin, founder of AidJoy, a Greenville non-profit group.  "We take them for granted, but elsewhere around the world, it can be life changing."  Shanin's group, founded several years ago, helps charities around the world.  His latest work is with something called "Project Amazonas", a mission that's delivering medical care to people in the Amazon rainforests of Peru.  "It's a large region, and with the tremendous distance, sometimes it takes people days or weeks to get to medical care," Shanin says.

Because of that, he says dental care is severely lacking.  "The kids oftentimes will have tremendous pain in their mouths, and will have that pain for months straight," Shanin says.  Still, he says a toothbrush is considered a "luxury" in most of the poor Peruvian villages.  "Most people only earn $300 or $400 a year to take care of their whole family," says Shanin.  "Spending $2 or $3 on a toothbrush is weeks of work."

Recently, though, an Upstate business stepped up and saw Shanin's need.  The ADEC group, a firm that specializes in marketing and communications, came to Shanin and asked how they could help.  "I said we need toothbrushes," he remembers.  At first, ADEC supplied 2,000 brushes.  But, it soon turned into more.  "They came back to us and said 'what if we donated another 18,000 more?  Could you do anything with that," Shanin says, with a laugh.  "I was like, this is great!"

Now, the 20,000 toothbrushes sit on two gigantic pallets in a local warehouse.  The plan is to distribute them to local children in Peruvian villages, and teach them about lifelong dental care.  Shanin will leave for Peru in April, delivering the first couple thousand brushes.  He says the huge gift will likely last them another couple of years.  "A toothbrush is so simple," he says.  "But it makes all the difference in the world."

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