Linda Parker was the founder and owner of Dynamic Dental Consulting, which provides consulting services to dentists throughout the United States, and Diamond Practice Solutions, which consults to medical doctors in the greater Phoenix area.
In 2009, she attended a meeting of Along Side Ministries (ASM). ASM is a Christian organization founded by Collis Huntington to rehabilitate men and women coming out of prison. At the meeting, Collis was seeking volunteer mentors. Since Linda traveled extensively, she could not volunteer, but was moved to think of what she could do. At that meeting she met a number of former inmates and noted the horrible condition of their teeth and smiles. This was caused through incarceration, previous drug use (particularly meth), and poverty. The light bulb went off in Linda’s head, “I can give them a smile!”
After much thought & meditation, Linda contacted Collis and told him of her plan to start Smiles Beyond The Bars. Little did Linda know that ASM had been praying for someone to help them with their dental needs. This seemed to be a match made in heaven.
Linda contacted some of her dental clients. The first, Dr. Mark Peck, didn’t hesitate and said, “Send me one.” The recipient’s work proved to be extensive. When Dr. Peck had finished, the former female inmate had a glorious smile and was ready for the outside world. Linda asked Dr. Peck what he thought of the “experience” and he said, “Send me another person.” Thus, Smiles Beyond the Bars was launched.
After the experience with Dr. Peck, Linda approached other dentists and each one said, “yes.” Today, with 200 recipients with new smiles, Smiles Beyond the Bars has grown to a dental network of 60 dentists who contributed in 2016 in-kind services valued at $800,000.