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Running for America's Kids

USCMAF, a local children's charity, is Running for America's Kids Sunday to raise funds for orthodontia treatment for area teens. Visit www.uscmaf.org to help us fulfill our goal.

This Sunday, February 24, USCMAF’s President and Director will be running a half marathon in Disney World to promote our mission to improve the lives and enhance the self-esteem of children from low to moderate income families in the U.S. We are also running to raise the necessary funds to cover the cost of much needed orthodontic treatment for two Lake County teenagers whose families fall under the category of of very low income.

Many of you reading this are probably thinking, as I initially thought, “Isn’t orthodontia covered under dental insurance and/or Medicaid?” Prior to founding USCMAF and conducting my own research on dental and medical inequalities in the U.S., I too was oblivious to just how many children in our own nation were denied the right to what most of us deem ‘basic’ dental treatment due to financial inabilities.

To put it into perspective, the orthodontists we are working with estimate the cost of treatment for each of these two individuals will range from $5,100 to $10,000, depending on whether extractions and other dental work is necessary. Families making under $20,000 per year cannot possibly afford that kind of expense. Thus, USCMAF can step in, thanks to the generous support of individual and corporate donors, to cover the cost of treatment so these children do not become victims due to financial deficits.

Consider in 2011, the U.S. Census Bureau found that 21.9% of children under the age of 18 were living in poverty in the United States. Children who grow up in poverty are provided with very limited opportunities to obtain medical and dental treatment not deemed necessary due to financial shortfalls. These children deserve to be given the same opportunities as children in our community, and USCMAF is here to help do just that. We at USCMAF believe we are affording children the opportunity to experience a brighter future with more positive self-esteem, and are hopefully also decreasing incidences of bullying. Children are America's future—what better way to brighten that future than with a brighter smile!

Many people have told me that U.S.CMAF is a great cause and to keep up the good work. The only way we can keep it up is with your help. A donation of $5 or $10 may seem inconsequential, but imagine if everyone who felt that way made a donation. Any donation, no matter how small it may seem, will bring us one step closer to helping the next child in need of our assistance. Donations are tax deductible and can be made online at www.uscmaf.org.

Please help USCMAF reach our goal of providing orthodontia to these two girls in Lake County.  Children who feel good about themselves are more likely to work at succeeding in school, to develop a desire to be a role model to other kids and to potentially be the next generation to give back to society.  We thank you and the children who benefit from USCMAF thank you for any amount of support you can provide!

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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