DDNJ Foundation Restores Grandmother’s Smile and Grants Her Christmas Wish

PARSIPPANY, NJ (DECEMBER 23, 2022) — Kim Errickson had her Christmas wish of having her smile restored granted on Wednesday night by the Delta Dental of New Jersey (DDNJ) Foundation and United Way of Northern New Jersey. This could not have been possible without a SMILE Transformation Grant that Newark’s Rutgers School of Dental Medicine receives from the DDNJ Foundation to provide underserved and underinsured patients with free dental care.


DDNJ Foundation Board of Trustee member, Dr. Lisa Gallucci, stated “What started as Kim simply asking to have her smile fixed has turned into her getting her life back, as she shared with us the other night.” “Our mission is to help solve oral healthcare challenges that our neighbors and communities are facing. There are no words to describe the impact this will have on Kim and her life, and we are humbled to be able to help transform her smile and make her Christmas wish come true,” Gallucci added.


Almost three years ago, the DDNJ Foundation awarded Rutgers Dental School via Rutgers University Foundation a $20,000 SMILE Transformation Grant in order to help two men have their smiles restored. The purpose of the SMILE Transformation Grant is to help those who are uninsured or underinsured and have unique, expensive, dental issues by restoring their smiles free of cost. In 2023, another $20,000 will be awarded to Rutgers by the DDNJ Foundation, some of which will go towards paying for the dental treatment that Kim will be receiving at Rutgers Dental School.


United Way of Northern New Jersey was first made aware of Kim, a widow raising her grandson, Dominick, and her Christmas wish in this year’s Gifts of the Season video. More than 6,000 holiday gifts are distributed by United Way Gifts of the Season. These gifts are given to children, teens, senior citizens and adults with special needs that are experiencing financial hardship throughout northern New Jersey.


“This gift of a smile will be life-changing for Kim, and we are grateful for the Delta Dental of New Jersey Foundation for their role in helping fulfill this holiday wish,” said Kiran Handa Gaudioso, United Way of Northern Jersey CEO. “Delta Dental is helping alleviate the financial strain that families like Kim’s face when choosing between paying the bills and participating in the joys of the holiday season.” 


In 2022, over $761,000 were donated in grants by the Delta Dental of New Jersey Foundation to support organizations that are helping the oral and overall health of communities of over 14,000 residents in the state, which includes children, seniors, veterans and those with developmental disabilities.


About Delta Dental


Delta Dental of New Jersey, Inc. is New Jersey’s leading dental benefits company, providing or administering coverage to more than 1.9 million people through contracts with groups and individuals in New Jersey and Connecticut. In Connecticut, Delta Dental of Connecticut, Inc. is a licensed insurer that writes dental and vision coverage on an insured basis, and Delta Dental of New Jersey administers self-funded dental benefit programs.


Offering dental benefits since 1969, Delta Dental of New Jersey’s mission is to promote oral health to the greatest number of people by providing accessible dental benefit programs of the highest quality, service, and value. We are a not-for-profit service corporation and, as a member of Delta Dental Plans Association, we’re part of a network that provides national dental coverage to more than 85 million people. For more information, visit DeltaDentalNJ.com.


About United Way of Northern New Jersey


United Way of Northern New Jersey is a nonprofit organization fighting to improve life for families and individuals in our five-county footprint who are ALICE (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed) or in poverty. We believe when those who are struggling to afford the basics can succeed, all communities win. By focusing on Education, Financial Stability, and Health, we are helping ALICE now and in the long term. We do this through our initiatives that fill gaps in services, community partnerships, public policy work, and volunteer efforts. United Way of Northern New Jersey serves Morris, Somerset, Sussex, and Warren counties as well as portions of suburban Essex County including the Caldwells, Cedar Grove, Essex Fells, Fairfield, Glen Ridge, Livingston, Millburn-Short Hills, Montclair, Roseland, and Verona.


(left to right) Kimberly Elmore, Delta Dental of New Jersey Foundation Manager; Lisa N. Gallucci, DMD, Diplomate ABDSM, Delta Dental of New Jersey Foundation Trustee; Kim Errickson, recipient of SMILE Transformation grant; Dominick, Kim’s grandson; Kiran Handa Gaudioso, United Way of Northern New Jersey CEO; and Joan Henderson, Delta Dental of New Jersey Community Relations Manager.

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