The American Student Dental Association (ASDA) provided Christmas cheer to over 120 underserved children at the Pomona Unified School District on Friday, December 14th, 2012. ASDA partnered this holiday season with the Pomona Unified School District Family Preservation Program.

Dental Student Chris Dudzik (DMD 2013) organized and executed the ASDA at WesternU Toy Drive for these children which collected and distributed over 120 toys. Dental Student Allison Baylis (DMD 2014) organized and helped run the annual Christmas party for the children. Over 20 students volunteered their Friday evening to set up, play with the children and clean up after the event.

A Christmas party would not be complete without Santa Claus himself making an appearance. Santa came along with two of his elves (Angie Hastings, 2013, and Melody Palomar). Each family took photos with Santa and his elves. These photos were printed and given to each family. The children loved having Santa there and telling him what they wanted this year for Christmas. WesternU Dental Students helped hand out the presents, grocery bags of food and a ham to each family as they left the party.

The inspiration of this project came from Mr. Craig Christianson who wanted to give back to the community in a non-dental manner. The ASDA leadership team worked with Mr. Christianson to ensure this event was a success. Seeing the smiles on the children’s faces was worth every part of the hard work making this event possible. This Christmas cheer would not have been possible without all the effort from the College of Dental Medicine faculty, staff and students.