Healthy Earth

Organization Spotlight : Bright Island Outreach

Love, Care and Consciousness are built into our DNA at DrTung’s.  It’s a concept we weave into every part of our business model — from our products, to our consumers, to our team, to our planet and to all sentient beings.  There are many, many organizations working diligently to make this planet a better place.  Some of these organizations have touched our hearts in very deep ways.  To share the amazing work from a few of our favorite groups, we’re spotlighting one incredible organization each month throughout the year.

The 5th organization in our series is…

Bright Island Outreach

'Do more, be more, vive mas'

Bright Island Outreach is a group of volunteers who travel to the Dominican Republic providing dental treatment to populations in dire need. The group consists of volunteers with little to no dental experience, as well as dentists, dental students, hygienists, hygiene students, and dental assistants. During the expeditions, they connect and collaborate with the wonderful people of the rural communities of the Dominican Republic and help provide services the communities wouldn’t normally have access to. 

How it started…

Cofounded by Dr Eric Harris and Dr Johnathan Diaz Nicolas, Bright Island Outreach began in 2013 with the goal to provide free dental care to underprivileged communities.  In 2012 Dr Harris was on a dental humanitarian mission to the Dominican Republic when he met Dr Diaz Nicolas, a 4th generation dentist, born and raised in the Dominican Republic.  Dr Harris had just started teaching (you can read more about his amazing story here) and Dr Diaz Nicholas was teaching at the dental school in Dominican Republic.  They proposed bringing together a group of Dr Harris’ dental school students from Arizona School of Dentistry along with Dr Nicolas Diaz's dental students from the Dominican Republic and set up a humanitarian clinic in the Dominican Republic. The students would get some real-life experience and treat some of these people that really needed it.  The rest is history as they say.

Since the beginning, Bright Island Outreach has served well over 6,000 and continually strives to make an impact on both the community and the volunteers.  The volunteers find this a great way to bond — the dental and hygiene students are given a tremendous amount of hands-on experience — everyone volunteering is able to make an impression on (and be impressed by) the lives of the wonderful people with whom they encounter.  

Travel with a purpose

"We have no political or religious agenda and nothing to tell. We just use our resources and skills to serve a community in need, to travel with purpose, and to give back.” says Dr Harris.1 

Of course, the volunteer groups find time to enjoy the sights, explore some of the historic and cultural attractions of the region and experience much of what this beautiful Caribbean island nation offers — as much as they work hard, they get to play hard too! You can find them touring the historic Zona Colonial of Santo Domingo, zip lining through the canopies of the jungle, or spending a relaxing day on one of the pristine beaches.2 

Teaming up with Dental Yogis / Revive Mission…

Bright Island Outreach has recently partnered with another incredible organization, the Dental Yogis / Revive Mission.  These missions bring dentistry, humanitarianism, and yoga together into a single, incredible, life-changing trip. 

“Part dental-aid, part yoga retreat, 100% transformational.  A week in paradise with everything you need to serve others and dive deep into the core of what lights you up, while connecting with other like-minded, heart centered humans.  The perfect balance of contribution, self-exploration, nature, connection, and adventure!”3 

DrTung’s has been honored to be a part of two of these combined missions by contributing Smart Floss and Tongue Cleaners for the community of El Valle and cash donations to help fund the missions.  Helping to bring healthy smiles to the world is what “lights us up.”  

The Takeaway…

Again, we’ve barely scratched the surface of the incredible work of the volunteers participating in the Bright Island Outreach missions. In a country that thrives on tourism, where locals work at hotels and resorts, dental care (like the full-mouth reconstructions that Bright Island Outreach provides) truly changes lives and enables locals to get jobs and support their families.  You can read more about them on their site or follow them on social media.  If their work resonates with you, we encourage you to share their story with your friends and family.  You can also get involved by volunteering, sponsoring a dental student, or making a cash donation.  

As always, do what resonates with you.  One thing we can all do is to take a few moments each day to take care of ourselves and cultivate positive energy.  When you feel positive, you share that feeling with those around you — it’s contagious (in a good way).  Each of us adding positivity to ourselves and spreading it to those around us adds to the collective Love, Care and Consciousness of humankind.  Together we can make a difference to each other, to our environment and to all sentient beings. 

Don't look for big things, just do small things with great love...the smaller the thing, the greater must be our love.       Mother Teresa 

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