How Shonna Got Her Smile Back

After hearing about it from a friend, Shonna traveled over an hour to attend the mobile clinic we were hosting in Grundy County, Tennessee. As she went through the registration process, she discovered that we were only able to assist with emergent extractions that day. Shonna was heartbroken to hear that she wasn’t able to receive the help she needed.

A month prior, she’d been in a car accident which badly chipped her front teeth. Shonna’s nickname at her job is “Smiley” because she is notorious for the huge grin that’s constantly on her face. But ever since the car accident, she’d been covering her mouth with her hand. She was embarrassed and started to feel extremely depressed. Life was already challenging for Shonna. Struggling financially, she’d been living in her car until it got totaled. The night before the Hope Smiles clinic, she’d actually slept outside the high school (where the clinic was hosted) because she had nowhere else to go. Then she was told she unfortunately couldn’t receive help that day. Devastating…


Shonna decided to wait in line anyway. At this point, she figured she didn’t have anything to lose. She’d been waiting for a few hours when Dr. Kemp (our Founder) heard her story. He was moved to hear the great lengths she’d gone to in order to receive assistance, and he decided to just go ahead and fix her teeth right then and there. She was so happy she cried!


When she looked in the mirror after her dental work was completed, she beamed with joy and gratitude. She was certainly back to living up to her nickname. Smiley Shonna left that day with an enormous grin on her face. More importantly, she left with hope in her heart that God will make a way where there seems to be none.

Gradi Ellis