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Charis Health Center to participate in the Big Payback

Staff Reports • Updated Apr 29, 2016 at 2:00 PM

Charis Health Center is once again participating in the Big Payback, a region-wide, 24-hour online giving event created to help Middle Tennessee nonprofits raise funds vital to continue their work, which directly improves the community around them. 

This is the second year Charis Health Center will take part in the event. Last year, Charis raised $3,805 to support the clinic’s efforts in treating the medically uninsured community members in the Middle Tennessee area.

The Big Payback charitable event, presented by the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee, will begin May 3 at midnight and continue for 24 hours. Once the clock starts, anyone can visit thebigpayback.org or charishealthcenter.org and make donations to Charis Health Center and other participating nonprofits that serve Wilson County and the 39 other counties of Middle Tennessee. 

Donors can view and select from participating organizations based on location and focus area, such as animals, education, healthcare and more, and support multiple nonprofits with gifts ranging from $10 and up. 

The Big Payback provides an opportunity for the community to come together and support the work being done right here in our community. 

This year, Charis Health Center is focusing on raising funds to support the dental needs in the community. Oral health is vital to a person’s overall well being. There is a well-established relationship between gum disease, heart disease and stroke. A dental exam can save someone’s life, as it can detect the first signs of oral cancer, AIDS, diabetes, drug use and domestic violence. However, oral health care is often overlooked.

• Tennessee ranks 47th in the nation for level of overall oral health. 

• In Tennessee, 25 percent of adults ages 18–64 have lost six or more teeth due to dental disease – twice the national average. 

• 40 percent of poor individuals have at least one untreated cavity, compared to only 16 percent of the non-poor. 

• In America, more than 164 million hours of work are lost each year due to oral health issues and dentist visits. 

• More than one in four Americans (27 percent) say they have oral health issues that they’d like to address, but often are prohibited by their inability to pay for the work (cited by 62 percent of those with unresolved issues). 

• Poor oral health affects every area of a person’s life. Tooth loss and noticeable decay can severely limit job opportunities. Severe pain causes absenteeism and decreases job performance. Children with untreated decay experience persistent pain, poor nutrition and poor concentration. Senior citizens often suffer from poor nutrition, limited social interactions and problems speaking.

The Big Payback has seen remarkable growth from its inaugural event in 2014. That year, nearly $1.5 million was raised for 525 nonprofits. In one day’s time, more than 11,600 gifts were made to organizations focused on health and human services, animal welfare, the arts and more.

In 2015, the amount raised increased to more than $2.65 million supporting 770 Middle Tennessee nonprofits.

Gifts during the Big Payback will be boosted with funds from sponsors of the event, which will provide opportunities for Charis to vie for financial incentives and additional prizes. The online leaderboard, at thebigpayback.org, will track donations.

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