Interact Club spearheads collection of 2,500 toothbrushes to send overseas, published in The Delta Optimist: Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Johanna Johnson knows one person can make a difference.


When she learned a medical team was preparing to travel to China to provide reconstructive surgery and essential dental procedures, she took action. The president of Tsawwassen Interact Club had the idea of kids here helping kids far away.


"We saw this as a perfect opportunity to do something positive with children in Tsawwassen," said a justifiably proud Johnson. "Young people taking international action is what Interact is all about. Now families here will directly help over a hundred families in China."


The Interact (International Action) Club members convinced students at Beach Grove, English Bluff and SDSS to collect dental hygiene supplies for the medical team traveling to remote Harbin, China. They offered a pizza lunch at each school for the class collecting the most. "We were so pleased when several classes collected over 400 toothbrushes," said Johnson.


It was all to support dental hygienist and Rotarian Jill Moore as she readies for the 15-day mission. Harbin, a Chinese city about 400 kilometres north of North Korea, is midway to the Russian border.


The trip is Moore's second with Alliance For Smiles, a volunteer organization dedicated to bringing medical relief to China.


"These toothbrushes will fill our supply container to the brim," she said, "I am so grateful for the generous support from the Interact Club who involved hundreds of children and their families."

The Interact members are already well into planning another international action: a leadership development trip to Ecuador during Spring Break when they expect to be involved in building a school.


Anyone with a suggestion for a local community-based project can contact the group at


"We have lots of ideas but we also welcome suggestions," said Johnson.

© The Delta Optimist 2007