The inception of Brush For Life, Inc.® was to supply digital patient education for medical/dental missionaries in remote places where space, electrical power, and manpower are limited. For some groups, their only option is to pull teeth each trip, which is a less than ideal solution, but in some cases, the only option. Providing education will help patients to improve their health and save their teeth by knowing how to better care for their mouth.
The phone rang and a woman answered, "XYZ MISSIONS" (not their real name)
Me: Hello, I'd like to volunteer for a mission trip.
Her: "What do you do?"
Me: I'm a dental hygienist
Her: Oh, we can't use you. All we do is pull teeth.
It was 2003. I was between jobs as a dental hygienist and decided to do volunteer work. I called a medical missionary organization I had heard of to volunteer my services.
After a long silence during which my mental wheels were turning, thinking "Well if they go to the same place every year, and see the same people, and do the same thing…" I calculated and replied,
Me: You mean – you eventually leave them edentulous*? (*without any teeth)
I was stunned. There was nothing more I could say and I hung up. But this got me thinking. What they needed was a means to instruct people who were waiting to be seen on proper oral care. Something that didn't require an extra body to feed and house on the trip. This has been the mission of Brush For Life®.
At first I sought out getting a grant to fund this project. No funds were available for what I wanted to do. I decided to create it myself and market it in the US, then supply it at a low cost to mission workers.
It's been a long haul for this hygienist, learning a completely different "language," the language of business and marketing. I've learned how to do my own websites, Facebook ads, marketing; write copy, a business plan, key notes, books; create PowerPoint's,® speaker one-sheets, video creation/lighting and editing--and a whole lot more...while working full time as a caregiver.
My caregiving obligations are over now and I'm free to travel the globe, taking the vision of Brush For Life® globally, equipping professionals and the public with knowledge and systems for improved oral health.
In short, the inception of Brush For Life, Inc.® was to supply instructional materials for medical/dental missionaries in remote places where space, electrical power, and manpower are limited. For some groups, their only option is to pull teeth each trip, eventually leaving people without ANY teeth.
Steve Rawlings with Thai students in Mynamar, Thailand
I went to highschool with Stephen Rawlings, the head of this organization. He moved his family to Thailand on faith and prayer--and God provided. They are now full time missionaries helping refugees from a former war, who live on the edge of two countries, without a home in either place. Steve is as honest as they come, and I fully support his work and endeavors. I have been a contributor for years. As my business grows, I will be able to help more substantially--and I look forward to that.