AHS sophomore starts non-profit to provide dental essentials to kids
By: Donnamy Steele
Dental hygiene is a topic that Andalusia High School sophomore Catherine Pettie takes seriously. After realizing that many children may not have the essentials for good dental hygiene habits, Pettie decided to begin The Smile Fairy.
This is a project led by Pettie and her aunt in conjunction with the Full Tummies Project in Andalusia.
“It really started out with me helping with the full tummy project,” Pettie said. “My aunt Katie is over it and I enjoy helping within the community. I want to help kids learn good dental habits with the bags and put them in the Full Tummy bags when they give them out.”
The Smile Fairy bags will be included in the Full Tummy Project bags. There are 300 bags distributed each week to seven elementary schools across the county, Pettie said.
“I’m going to contact dentists for product donations of toothbrushes and toothpaste,” Pettie said. “Each bag will have a toothbrush, toothpaste, and dental floss. On our Facebook page we will put our Venmo or paypal for donations, and we will also have donation buckets in Andalusia eventually.”
Pettie’s inspiration derived from her summer work experience, as well as her commitment to serving the community.
“My grandfather is a dentist at Andalusia Dental Group and I want to be an orthodontist when I grow up,” Pettie said. “Working at the dentist’s office over the summer really helped interest me and just doing a lot of community service. We have such a good little town that’s so involved and that’s why I wanted to do this.”
After high school, Pettie plans to attend either the University of Alabama or Auburn University. She then wants to go to dental school at the University of Alabama at Birmingham to become an orthodontist.
To donate to The Smile Fairy, visit their Facebook page or contact Catherine Pettie.