NEW YORK, June 16, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Colgate Bright Smiles, Bright Futures (BSBF) is partnering with Save the Children to provide oral health and hygiene products to respite shelters serving migrant children and families. Hosting new arrivals entering the United States with documentation via border towns in California and Texas, the respite shelters will receive over 25,000 units of toothpaste, toothbrushes and soap from Colgate, as well as oral health educational materials, via a product donation to Save the Children.
Hundreds of migrants from Guatemala, Nicaragua, and Honduras arrive weekly and sometimes daily at respite centers in such cities as San Diego, Mecca and Bell, San Antonio, Brownsville, El Paso, and Laredo. "These children and families are fleeing unimaginable violence and disasters at home," explained Betsy Zorio, Save the Children's Vice President of U.S. Programs. "They are arriving exhausted and distressed, often with only the clothes they are wearing, to seek legal asylum."
A temporary refuge, the respite shelters provide a place to sleep and bathe, clean clothing, oral health products, toiletries, and diapers, and with assistance from Save the Children and partners, safe care and activities for children. "The adults are overwhelmed by trying to keep their children safe, navigate the immigration process, and connect with family members here in the U.S.," Zorio said. "To best support these children, Save the Children assists shelter partners with critical supplies to set up play areas so children have a place to be a kid and engage in age-appropriate activities. We also provide training so shelter staff can support children's social and emotional needs."
"As a global children's health initiative, Colgate Bright Smiles, Bright Futures has an important role to play in helping to prevent disease and protect the health and well-being of vulnerable children and their families," said Dr. Gillian Barclay, Vice President, Global Public Health and Scientific Affairs, Colgate-Palmolive Company. "Last year in North America, Colgate Bright Smiles, Bright Futures donated more than three million units of oral care products and delivered oral health education to more than 27 million children and families. By partnering with Save the Children, a leading humanitarian organization and authority on child health and education, we can positively impact the lives and health of vulnerable children now and in the future. Together, we are promoting lifelong learning opportunities and the promotion of well-being for all."
As a company, Colgate has supported Save the Children since 1999. It began its global partnership with the organization in 2016, working together to increase access to oral health care for children in need in the U.S., Africa and Latin America. In addition to supporting the organization's emergency response efforts at the U.S.-Mexico border, this year Colgate is supporting Save the Children with programmatic funding for its U.S.-based Head Start, Healthy Choices, and rural education programs, as well as infant toothbrushes for its home visitation program, Early Steps to School Success, which offers home visits for families beginning with a mother's pregnancy until a child reaches age three.
In addition, Colgate supports Save the Children's "100 Days of Reading" campaign designed to feed the minds and bodies of children in rural America. Running from June 1 – September 8, 2021, the program encourages children to keep reading and learning during the summertime and every link that is clicked or tapped by campaign participants helps donate books, educational materials, and healthy food to over 750,000 kids living in poverty in rural America.
"For thirty years, Colgate Bright Smiles, Bright Futures has supported and partnered with organizations that mobilize communities to improve health," said Colgate's Dr. Barclay. "Together with Save the Children, Colgate Bright Smiles, Bright Futures engages, educates, and empowers children and their families to embrace a healthy future we can all smile about."
About Colgate-Palmolive Company
Colgate-Palmolive Company is a caring, innovative growth company reimagining a healthier future for all people, their pets and our planet. Focused on Oral Care, Personal Care, Home Care and Pet Nutrition, the Company sells its products in more than 200 countries and territories under brands such as Colgate, Palmolive, elmex, hello, meridol, Sorriso, Tom's of Maine, EltaMD, Filorga, Irish Spring, PCA Skin, Protex, Sanex, Softsoap, Speed Stick, Ajax, Axion, Fabuloso, Soupline and Suavitel, as well as Hill's Science Diet and Hill's Prescription Diet. The Company is recognized for its leadership and innovation in promoting environmental sustainability and community well-being, including its achievements in saving water, reducing waste, promoting recyclability and improving children's oral health through its Bright Smiles, Bright Futures program, which has reached more than 1.3 billion children since 1991. For more information about Colgate's global business and how the Company is building a future to smile about, visit www.colgatepalmolive.com.
About Colgate Bright Smiles, Bright Futures
Established in 1991, Colgate Bright Smiles, Bright Futures provides free oral health education, dental screenings, and treatment referrals to children ages 1-12 in underserved areas. Through its mobile dental van program, award-winning in-school oral health curriculum, and grass-roots efforts, Colgate Bright Smiles, Bright Futures has reached more than 1.3 billion children and families in more than 80 countries around the world. For more information about Colgate Bright Smiles, Bright Futures program, visit www.ColgateBSBF.com.
About Save the Children
Save the Children believes every child deserves a future. Since our founding more than 100 years ago, we've changed the lives of more than 1 billion children. In the United States and around the world, we give children a healthy start in life, the opportunity to learn and protection from harm. We do whatever it takes for children – every day and in times of crisis – transforming their lives and the future we share. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube.
SOURCE Colgate Bright Smiles, Bright Futures