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Visionary Philanthropist and Advocate for Children’s Access to Orthodontic Care Passes Away at 92

Smiles Change Lives founder, Mrs. Virginia “Gini” Brown of Kansas City, MO, left this earth leaving a legacy that has changed the lives of over 11,000 children across the United States and Canada.

Since its inception in 1997, Smiles Change Lives (SCL) has been the leader in providing access to affordable orthodontic care for children from families who could otherwise not afford treatment.

Who knew that a healthy smile can change everything in the life of a young person? Virginia Brown did. She stood out in defense of young people who could not afford the smile that all children deserve. Her work, her love, and her spirit live on in the lives of all SCL participants. Her legacy is the healthy, confident smile on the faces of thousands of young adults and will be for generations to come.

Virginia Brown grew up during the Great Depression and desperately needed braces. Her sister received orthodontic treatment first, and Virginia had to endure years of teasing and low self-esteem until finally she was able to afford them herself. This experience touched her so deeply that she decided that when able, she would take action to help young people who could not afford orthodontic treatment necessary to live with dignity and confidence.

It was in 1983, she and her late husband, Maurice Brown, formed the Virginia and Maurice Brown Foundation. Funds were earmarked for children in need of facial and oral surgery, particularly those with a cleft lip and palate. After her husband lost his battle with sinus cancer, Virginia was more determined than ever to help children in need.

Searching for the most effective way to make an impact with her philanthropic passion, Virginia and her son Tom, discov­ered that no program existed in the United States to help children gain access to orthodontic treatment. They began a partnership with the UMKC School of Dentistry, and in 1997, an initial grant facili­tated treatment for 16 children in the Kansas City area. Some of these children had missing, broken or impacted teeth; others had difficulty speaking and chewing; and still others suffered with constant pain due to severe overcrowding. Virginia knew these children would never have a chance at a better future, free of peer ridicule, without help. This effort marked the formation of the Virginia Brown Community Orthodontic Partnership – which evolved into what is now known as Smiles Change Lives.

With nearly 800 partnering orthodontists, SCL has become the leading provider of orthodontic care to families that need financial assistance, serving thousands of children across the US and Canada.

A sincere and motivated philanthropist, Virginia Brown was a caring, generous woman who wanted nothing more than to help children in need reach normalcy in their difficult lives,” states founding orthodontist Dr. Kelly Toombs. “Smiles Change Lives was born from Virginia’s vision and determination; to help children during their formative years with a very effective treatment that restores their confidence, giving them dignity to pursue new opportunities they never thought possible. As a partner orthodontist, I have seen the miraculous transformation in children’s lives. Virginia became a tremendous asset to children in her community and across the United States and Canada.

Virginia passed away peacefully in Kansas City, MO on July 29, 2018 at the age of 92.  Smiles Change Lives continues her dream, changing the lives of thousands of children with the gift of a smile.  Those interested in learning more about Smiles Change Lives can visit www.smileschangelives.org.

 

Changing Lives… One Smile At A Time...
"I cannot say enough GREAT things about this program! They have given both of my daughters a new outlook on life, & self confidence that I could never teach."
Shelly P.
"I am so thankful for smiles change lives for helping a struggling mother out. What an amazing program that helps families."
Joy S.
"My son has finally been accepted, approved, and assigned an orthodontist. He goes tomorrow for his first appointment to start getting his braces. Thanks SCL, you have made my son very happy."
Alan P.
"This is an incredible organization with Orthodontists donating their skills to change children's lives. More people in need should know about this fantastic program"
Judith W.
"I just had not one but two daughters finish having their braces on through Smiles Change Lives and we are so happy with the results. Thank you for providing this service!"
Alice W.
"Just had our last appointment. Being a school teacher I didn't make a lot of money. This program allowed me to give my daughter a smile that she shares with everyone. Thanks."
Tiffany L.
"Amazing program that has truly changed my life. Once I was accepted it was such an easy process. Thank you so much!! I would recommend any one with low income and bad teeth to go through the process."
Alexandria W.
"Our son would have gone without braces if it wasn't for SCL! Thankful for this program and staff that care. We are currently in treatment. It is already making a difference. "
Alice W.
Read More
  • "Our son would have gone without braces if it wasn't for SCL! Thankful for this program and staff that care. We are currently in treatment. It is already making a difference. "

    - Alice W.

    5 star review
  • "Amazing program that has truly changed my life. Once I was accepted it was such an easy process. Thank you so much!! I would recommend any one with low income and bad teeth to go through the process."

    - Alexandria W.

    5 star review
  • "Just had our last appointment. Being a school teacher I didn't make a lot of money. This program allowed me to give my daughter a smile that she shares with everyone. Thanks."

    - Tiffany L.

    5 star review
  • "I just had not one but two daughters finish having their braces on through Smiles Change Lives and we are so happy with the results. Thank you for providing this service!"

    - Daya G.

    5 star review
  • "This is an incredible organization with Orthodontists donating their skills to change children's lives. More people in need should know about this fantastic program"

    - Judith W.

    5 star review
  • "My son has finally been accepted, approved, and assigned an orthodontist. He goes tomorrow for his first appointment to start getting his braces. Thanks SCL, you have made my son very happy."

    - Alan P.

    5 star review
  • "I am so thankful for smiles change lives for helping a struggling mother out. What an amazing program that helps families."

    - Joy S.

    5 star review
  • "I cannot say enough GREAT things about this program! They have given both of my daughters a new outlook on life, & self confidence that I could never teach."

    - Shelly P.

    5 star review
*The reviews listed are from actual patients of Smiles Change Lives. Individual results may vary. Reviews are not claimed to represent results for everyone.



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