PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Finally, after all the work and time it took to create them, Quinn McElroy-Fuchs had a chance to appreciate the final product.

On Saturday, with the help of many other Girl Scouts, McElroy-Fuchs assembled 400 kits, filled with dental information and supplies for kids of low-income families. Operation Tooth Fairy, as she calls it, was a success.

“It’s been going so fast, but when I look at them — the bags — I can see how much time I put into it,” McElroy-Fuchs, a junior at Lincoln High School, said. “It’s kind of crazy for me.”

The kits are in the service of a Girls Scouts Gold Award, “the most prestigious award in the world for girls … and the most difficult to earn.” The unique inspiration, though, came from a shocking personal experience. McElroy-Fuchs said she was shadowing someone on a trip to an elementary school. She then recalled meeting a young girl whose teeth were already decaying.

Inside each Operation Tooth Fairy kit are dental supplies and information. 

“It was just totally shocking,” she said. “I looked more into it and it turns out a lot of kids in low-income situations start kindergarten with a lot of decay because they haven’t had a lot of care.”

Then with an idea in hand, McElroy-Fuchs began turning it into a reality. She applied for Disney’s Summer of Service Grant — $500 for kids who want to make a difference in their community. She took that grant and bought enough dental supplies to create 400 kits for kids. Now, after all the work, the kits — which have informational pamphlets, a toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, a 2-minute tooth timer and a cloth for infants — are ready to go.

“It turned out exactly the way I pictured it in my brain,” she said.

But the work isn’t over. Part of achieving the Girl Scouts Gold Award means the recipient has created something that’ll last — not something with an expiration date. It has to be sustainable. McElroy-Fuchs said donation bins will still be up even though 400 kits have been created. Dental clinics will keep them up, as well, keeping Operation Tooth Fairy alive.

“I’m hoping I can receive more donations and make some more kits before this project is done,” she said.