Members Making a Difference

Christmas Toy Drive

PDA past president Dr. Dennis Charlton hosts a Christmas Toy Drive every year, and 2011 marks his 25th year collecting toys for children. The program started as a way to help his patients who don’t have insurance. Patients who donate a new unwrapped toy, valued at $20, receive a periodic exam and prophylaxis at no charge. His patients with insurance are given a $40 coupon that can be used through June 30, 2012. Between 100 and 175 toys are donated each year, which amounts to about $12,000 of free service between Thanksgiving and Christmas. All of the toys are given to the Helping Hands Organization. The organization operates throughout the year to lend support to the less fortunate families in the Sandy Lake area. Dr. Charlton says Helping Hands count on his program for the toy donations as much as his non-insured patients count on the free checkups.