Card features art by 14-year-old Vanderbilt Eye Institute patient; public invited to vote for a hospital to receive additional funding from Delta Dental
NASHVILLE, Tenn. – (December 8, 2020) – Delta Dental of Tennessee (Delta Dental) today kicked off its 6th annual holiday card campaign, pledging a collective $140,000 in donations to children’s hospitals across the state. Each of Tennessee’s seven children’s hospitals will receive at least a $10,000 donation from Delta Dental, and the remaining $70,000 will be awarded based on public input.
This year’s holiday card features art by 14-year-old Dravyn, a patient at Vanderbilt Eye Institute. Dravyn had a head trauma that resulted in vision impairment as a child. Today she is a healthy 14-year-old and aspires to be a ballerina with the American Ballet Theater one day.
“Drawing my little Gnome and the Christmas decorations gave me a sense of accomplishment and made me smile from ear to ear,” said Dravyn. “Seeing them come to life is amazing, and I hope that this holiday card makes others smile and feel the holiday cheer.”
“Children’s hospitals provide life-changing care for children like Drayvn and their families across Tennessee every day,” said Dr. Phil Wenk, CEO and president of Delta Dental of Tennessee. “We are proud to share Drayvn’s story – and her artistic talents – this holiday season to highlight the critical role children’s hospitals play in our communities and to spread joy at the end of a difficult year.”
Many children’s hospitals are preparing to care for adult overflow patients this winter, as COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations surge. While severe COVID-19 cases in children have been rare, children’s hospitals have felt the impact of the pandemic in other ways, including cancelled fundraising events that typically contribute millions of dollars each year, and lost revenue due to lower patient volumes.
The 2020 holiday card campaign continues Delta Dental’s longstanding support for Tennessee children’s hospitals. Through its charitable arm, the Smile180 Foundation, Delta Dental has contributed $3 million to support Tennessee’s children’s hospitals since 2014, including more than $500,000 in 2020.
A version of Drayvn’s card is available for purchase through “Gifts from Friends,” a fundraising initiative coordinated by Friends of Monroe Carell Jr. Children’s Hospital at Vanderbilt, here. All cards are designed by current and former patients, including Drayvn, and proceeds fund special projects that directly benefit patients and families at the hospital.
To learn more about Delta Dental’s philanthropic work across Tennessee, visit the Smile180 Foundation website.
Delta Dental of Tennessee
Delta Dental of Tennessee is the state’s largest independent dental benefits carrier with more than 1.2 million lives covered. As part of the Delta Dental Plans Association, Delta Dental of Tennessee members have access to the largest dental network in the nation with more than 154,000 providers serving more than 332,000 locations. With the simple mission of ensuring healthy smiles, Delta Dental of Tennessee works hard to help members of the communities it serves. Along with its corporate foundation, Smile180, Delta Dental of Tennessee donated more than $7 million in funding and in-kind services to over 140 organizations in 2019, and employees shared 2,182 volunteer hours in the community.