CODE:SMiLE is a nonprofit organization established to facilitate healthy dialogue and character building skills in young adults. Dr. Demko believes true beauty radiates from within, and the most beautiful smiles begin on the inside. Our goal at CODE:SMiLE is to collaborate with inspirational mentors and parents to teach young adults that differences and personal struggles don’t need to define their lives, but can actually make them stronger leaders in their communities and beyond.
Middle and early high school was difficult for Dr Demko, because like many teens, she had to overcome hurdles such as a learning disability, weight issues, peer pressure, and bullies. Her father worked to instill particular values of strength and confidence, despite the issues that Jackie faced on a daily basis. And each value was accompanied by a personal story, which only made it more powerful.
Taking a cue from her father, Dr. Demko often shares her own stories in her private practice. Patients are able to take the lessons from her struggles and find the inspiration to handle their own issues, while parents appreciate the candor and effort to provide more than just dental work. After seeing the success of this practice and wanting to create more impact, Dr. Demko held the first CODE: SMiLE event on April 15, 2008. Families from her practice and other members of the public were invited to hear the stories of three local celebrities (McGraw Milhaven, Heather Hawk and David Vabora).
After the first event, Demko Orthodontics was contacted by Bronx Diba Shoes who wanted to donate to her cause. And from that call, CODE:SMiLE has grown into a full fledged non-profit organization.
One of the most exciting additions to CODE:SMiLE has been the shuttle service, generously donated by Demko Orthodontics. The service is currently being offered to approximately 25 schools in the Washington, Missouri area, where students are picked up from school, brought to the office for their routine short appointments, and returned after their treatment.
Superintendents and parents are very excited about the shuttle service because the students miss a minimal amount of school and parents are able to remain at work. Patients return with a written report of their treatment progress for the parents and a new appointment time. The service is currently only running in the Washington area at schools where five or more patients attend. If interest continues, more schools will be added in the other Demko Orthodontics locations (Chesterfield and Saint Charles).
When asked about why such an extravagant vehicle was being used for the service, Dr. Demko responded that “We are serious about our kid’s issues, and dedicated to their healthy smiles. The Hummer signifies that we mean business.”
This particular Hummer is only one of four remaining of its kind. It is a National Geographic Endorsed Desert Storm Tour H1 Hummer and was used for desert night vision excursion tours. What better way to safely take children to Demko Orthodontics and back to school. The 11 passenger Hummer with stadium style seating has been outfitted with an onboard camera to allow parents to make sure their children made it to the vehicle and to their appointments.
Dr. Demko continues to speak about the positive reactions from both parents and patients. “They enjoy riding in the Hummer and love to be seen in it. The Hummer brings out huge, contagious smiles!”
To inquire about the shuttle service, please fill out the following forms so you can bring them to your next appointment.
CODE:SMiLE is actively looking for more partnerships and is planning more events centered around bringing self-esteem and smiles to the St. Louis metro area and eventually worldwide. In addition to funding the Hummer transportation program, Demko Orthodontics has already donated more than ten thousand dollars in treatments to CODE:SMiLE.
Donations to CODE:SMiLE can be made by contacting Dr. Demko’s office at 314.576.4955.