2022 Community Grantee, Ronald McDonald House Charities of Arkansas



From the #deltadentalARFoundation: The Ronald McDonald House Little Rock serves as a home-away-from-home for families who want to stay close to their hospitalized child. It offers a peaceful, comfortable place to eat, sleep and play, and the families receive advice and encouragement.

Thanks to a #communitygrant from the Delta Dental of Arkansas Foundation, they also have the opportunity to participate in a new learning project for the whole family—healthy smiles.

“We believe that the best way to help a sick child is by helping the entire family,” says Donna Csunyo, program director at Ronald McDonald House Charities of Arkansas (RMHC).

“Our project will educate parents about the importance of good oral hygiene habits beginning at birth.”

The need was already well documented.

RMHC has operated the Ronald McDonald Mobile Care Unit since 2009 to provide free dental care to underserved children from low-income households. Its dental team has reported heart-wrenching experiences over the years:

  • Many youngsters can’t sleep or concentrate in class because of severe dental pain. Sometimes, they suffer for months before seeing a dentist.
  • Many elementary school students must have their baby teeth pulled because of advanced decay.
  • Toothbrushes are missing from many homes. The children say they share a brush with other family members or don’t brush their teeth at all. 
  • Most young patients assume that people lose their teeth and need dentures as they age because that’s what they observe among their grandparents and other elderly relatives. 

If entire families get involved in learning good oral hygiene habits, a lot of dental pain and disease can be prevented, Donna says.

As a result, her team visits with expectant mothers who are hospitalized for care and bedrest, parents of babies in the NICU and Ronald McDonald House guests. They demonstrate how to wipe tiny baby gums, brush and floss correctly, and care for teeth and gums even during stressful times. Project participants also receive age-appropriate dental hygiene sets, even toothbrushes for infants and toddlers.

Donna has a big vision: “The end goal is that we never have to see a child who can’t focus, eat, sleep or study because of toothaches,” she emphasizes. “It’s achievable!”

Yes, we agree. And we share that vision. Do you? If so, let us help with funding. Check out our grant opportunities here.


2022 Community Grantee Ronald McDonald House Charities of Arkansas


Ronald McDonald House, girl brushing teeth model


RMHCA, Girl brushing her teeth

Ronald McDonald House Charities of Arkansas