Mission & History

Our Mission

Our mission is to make a difference in the lives of needy and underprivileged children in Summit, Stark, Portage, Medina and Wayne counties by providing financial assistance for orthodontic and other dental care and by offering oral health education for elementary school students.

We believe every child deserves the opportunity to be the very best they can be. And, while there are many challenges in today’s world for our children, oral health problems do not have to be one.

For more information about how you can learn more, or be involved, contact Mark Fairhurst, Executive Director, at 330.253.7700 or mark@EmbracingFuturesInc.org.

Our History

Embracing Futures, Inc. was founded in 1946 by Akron Beacon Journal publisher John S. Knight and several other fellow civic leaders under the name of the Beacon Journal Charity Fund. While their efforts supported many community-wide projects and programs, they focused much of their attention on “poor and working poor” families, struggling to pay for severe medical and dental problems.

Today, Embracing Futures, Inc. operates as a separate, non-profit organization with an interest in oral health for children. Our core program, the Orthodontic Care Program, provides braces for children who are suffering from severe orthodontic problems. Our assistance in orthodontics is in response to Medicaid providing very little support for poor and working poor families with children whom orthodontists have diagnosed as having severe malocclusions and in need of treatment. Our second program, the Dr. Milton Rubin Oral Health Education Program, teaches third grade students enrolled in public, parochial, and private schools how to care for their teeth in a fun and informative way.

To reflect this emphasis, in 2014, the trustees changed the name from the Beacon Journal Charity Fund to Embracing Futures, Inc. Dr. John Gerstenmaier, Board President, states, “The name was chosen in an effort to better describe our charity’s unique programming and assistance to children in need. And, while the name has changed, our mission has not.”

The current Board members are proud to state that Embracing Futures, Inc. will continue to honor the founding mission of its charter Trustees: “serving as a safety net for families who have exhausted all other resources.”

(Akron Photo Courtesy of Shane Wynn)