Changing the World One Smile At A Time

It isn’t every day that you’re sitting at lunch with coworkers and look down at your phone to see a FaceTime call from Brittany and Jason Aldean. But that’s exactly what happened to Shannon Gravelle as the winner of Brittany’s Ultimate Smile and Glam Giveaway contest. The digital marketing manager of a solar company who resides in Greenville, SC said she was speechless. “I feel like I blacked out a little bit. I was freaking out. I couldn’t form words. After the call, I was like, ‘I hope they know how excited I was – I don’t remember what I said.’”

Dr. Matt Kasiar, a cosmetic dentist, partnered with Brittany to make this happen. "I’ve always wanted to do a smile giveaway to help people. I was introduced to Brittany through some mutual friends and she has such a large following and so many people that look up to her. I thought what a great opportunity to give away a smile and use her platform to do that. I had done some work on her best friend and that opened up the opportunity for me to ask her to partner up. She was on board from day one."

Brittany adds, "It was an absolute no-brainer. We teamed up and added the glam makeover to give a whole experience to somebody. Dr. Kasiar is such a kind and giving dentist and he always wants to help people."

She reveals, "We got over 1,000 video entries. We didn’t really expect the response that we received. It’s been crazy. Dr. Kasiar and his wife Brooke shared their top 20 entrants with me. All of them hit home. You just realize how important a smile is to somebody’s confidence and their relationships. Some people never dated before, some never had friends in school, and some were just bullied all the time.” Brittany adds that while they chose Shannon as the ultimate winner of the glam giveaway, she and Jason decided there were other applicants they felt compelled to help. They chose an additional six applicants and personally paid for their smile to be fixed by Dr. Kasiar as well.  “When you know something is going to impact someone’s life so positively, why wouldn’t you do it if you can?"

Dr. Kasiar explains, "My responsibility was to make sure I got through every one of those 1,000 videos. It took me two or three weeks to watch them all. It was my entire day, between patients, after work, laying in bed. They had stories you can’t believe – what these people have gone through. There were a lot of people in need. When I gave Brittany the 20 videos and asked her if she’d had it nailed down yet, she said she had it nailed down to 19! Even Jason got involved due to the emotion involved in watching those videos."

So what was it about Shannon that led her to the ultimate prize? "Initially, I didn’t know what I was looking for in a winner. I was just watching with an open heart and open mind. Everybody’s story was so different. That’s what made it very difficult to choose just one. Shannon was so intelligent, so well spoken and she wanted to have a future in public speaking but wasn’t confident enough. That’s what broke our hearts about it. Her future is so bright and she has teeth that she’s not confident about. We wanted to give her that because we know the sky’s the limit for her. We knew there was something really special about her," answers Brittany. 

Shannon asserts, "I was already a happy, positive smiley person but everyone says since this has happened, my confidence has gone up a bit. They'd say, 'I don’t know why you don’t like your teeth. I like your smile.' But I had to feel it. It has already and will continue to change my life. And everybody involved in the process has been so helpful since day one and it’s such a good feeling to feel like everyone else is excited too. I feel very very lucky. I know how badly I wanted something like this. Everything fell into place and was meant to be."

Dr. Kasiar wants the goodwill to continue. "Throughout the whole process of the giveaway we kept seeing so many people in need of dental treatment, but either couldn’t afford it or didn’t have access to it. Luckily, we were able to help a total of 7 individuals and change their lives by giving them their smile back.  We wanted to help everyone but just didn’t have the means to do it. So in order to help even more people get access to the dental treatment they need, I founded Second Chance Smiles which is a non profit organization that will help raise money for this cause. Our hope is that we can transform many more lives through this organization by raising the money necessary to give people their smile and confidence back." 

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