Maybe you’ve never been ready to throw in the towel by Friday, or you’ve never felt as though your personal efforts toward good were just a drop in the bucket.

If you have though, this tale of one Kentucky dentist who changed the lives of 43,000 children since 2005 is sure to bolster your spirits and reassure you that one person can impact many.

Dr. Edwin Smith, of Barbourville, recently selected as a CNN Hero, shared sobering details with reporter Laura Klairmont about patients he had treated early in his career who had tried to pull out their teeth with pliers; others had superglued their teeth back onto their gums. The common denominator: severe pain.

He told CNN “the most heartbreaking stories came from his youngest patients”:
“I would see a lot of kids who had a mouth full of rotting teeth,” Smith said. “They were in pain, and they’d be hurting at school.”
Determined to change the situation, Dr. Smith in 2005, created a mobile clinic to bring free dental care to children in need. Eleven years later, his nonprofit, Kids First Dental Services, has cared for more than 43,000 children statewide.
Be inspired when you learn how he turned a trailer into a mobile dental clinic, and then find out how you can help: