The American Student Dental Association (ASDA), part of the College of Dental Medicine (CDM) at Western University of Health Sciences, provided Christmas cheer, gifts, games and a bag of groceries for a Christmas dinner to more than 100 local underserved children at a Pomona Unified School District development site Friday, Dec. 14, 2012.

The children are part of the Family Preservation program, which provides services to Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services and Probation Department families experiencing family functioning challenges related to child abuse, neglect, and/or exploitation.

CDM student leadership, staff and faculty held a toy drive for the event so that each child received a gift. They also volunteered by dressing as Santa Claus and elves, handing out toys, and organizing different activities with the children.

“”The inspiration of this project came from a discussion of the leadership team wanting to give back to the community in a non-dental manner,”” said fourth-year CDM student Chris Dudzik, ASDA president at WesternU. “”We do monthly free health fairs for the community, but just wanted to give back our time and help make someone’s Christmas a little better.””

Dudzik said that CDM’s Craig Christianson, manager of the Dental Equipment and Instrument Program, suggested an event for underserved children.

“”Our club put a smile on some kids’ faces this Christmas season, which made us very happy,”” Dudzik said.