By Daniel Clarke
(TEANECK) – Dr. Alejando Delgado is pursuing his MBA at FDU as a student in Puerta al Futuro, a program developed to address the needs of Latin-American students. Coming from Colombia as a dentist, his passion for dental care and helping people with disabilities started as a class project and became Smiles Without Limitations, a non-profit corporation dedicated to providing education on oral care and donating toothbrushes to those in need.
Dr. Delgado attended Professor John Fugazzie’s class on Marketing Social Change this summer.
“I have every student do a project of one of their social change passions,” said Professor Fugazzie. “He built a campaign during the class to get rotary toothbrushes donated for the handicapped.”
However, Dr. Delgado went above and beyond the course, creating a Facebook page, webpage and launching his campaign.
“I have had other students do amazing work in my classes, but none have developed as far as Dr. Delgado’s has,” said Professor Fugazzie.
Dr. Delgado explains his initial motivations on the Smiles Without Limitations webpage. Fundacion Semillas de Esperanza Quilichao, or FUSESQUI (Seeds of Hope Quilichao Fundation), is a group of people with disabilities in Colombia that receive
support from other organizations that donate a number of services. Oral health however, is not one of those services. Many, as a result, suffer from oral diseases. Smiles Without Limitations strives to address this neglected aspect of their care.
“Maybe that is an issue that was overseen, that nobody really thought about. And I think that it is really important, like in Latin America where the resources are extremely limited, that is a good thing to do,” said Maria Mansfield, another Puerta al Futuro student involved in marketing for the organization.
Since its inception earlier this summer, the non-profit addressed the Seeds of Hope by bringing education and donating 30 rechargeable electric toothbrushes in January. Further, it has brought education and 30 more rechargeable electric toothbrushes to the Senior Spirit Medical Day Center in June. It has also attended a number of Health Fairs throughout New Jersey, providing education and raising support.
“The hardest thing with most organizations is that we do all of this community effort mostly for free,” said Professor Fugazzie. “It’s very hard to change it to a revenue model. Funding is hard to get with a lot of causes. What I found so amazing about his project is it started and actually accomplished something in only 14 weeks of class.”
Although the class is over, the cause continues to expand.
“He has been attending health fairs in the area,” said Professor Fugazzie, “and was just contacted by a person connected to Walter Reed Hospital to help wounded veterans.”