New shoes and bright smiles in Bend

Needy kids treated to new Nikes and dental exams

POSTED: 7:27 PM PDT April 6, 2013    UPDATED: 7:27 PM PDT April 6, 2013 
BEND, Ore. -

 Nearly 200 kids got some free, brand-new Nikes in Bend on Saturday.

They also had the chance for a free dental exam.

The Assistance League of Bend recently received 400 pairs of athletic shoes from Nike to give away to needy children.

The donation was used as part of "Operation School Bel,"' a program that provides qualifying school-aged children with new wardrobe items.

Dental hygienists with Kemple Memorial Children's Dental Clinic also were on site, offering free dental exams and oral health packages.

Organizers said the joint event was all about reaching out to community members to meet several needs in one stop.

"We're working very hard to improve the oral health of those children in this particular vicinity, because one of the things that's a problem,is that Oregon's one of the worst states in the nation right now, in terms of oral health," said the clinic's executive director, Susan Browning.