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Dentist eats only rice and beans for nonprofit fundraiser

November 23, 2015

By Michelle Manchir

Dr. Carpenter
Rapid City, South Dakota — A Rapid City dentist made an unusual effort to help raise money for a struggling homeless shelter in his community.
Dr. Chad Carpenter, who serves on the board of Cornerstone Rescue Mission, which provides shelter, meals, child care and other services to homeless men, women and families in Rapid City, said donations and funding had decreased in recent months for the nonprofit.
"Some of our bigger donors have moved or passed away," Dr. Carpenter said. "We are the only rescue mission in western South Dakota and without us the homeless would have to sleep outside and wouldn't get three meals a day."
To inspire community donations to the shelter, Dr. Carpenter made a pledge Nov. 1 to eat only rice and beans — food he said one could live on for about a dollar day — until donors gave $10,000 on an online fundraising site.
"I wanted to get people's attention and show that I was willing to sacrifice comfort to 'earn' their donation," Dr. Carpenter said.
The family dentist who runs a practice in Rapid City said he "felt fine for eight days then horrible for a few," while on the strict diet.
Dr. Carpenter said he used social media to reach out for donors, and he "told a handful of patients about it." The efforts paid off.

Dr. Carpenter said he was attending a college football game when the donation that put him over his goal came in — about two weeks into the effort: "My periodontist paid off the remaining $122 so I had a barbecue sandwich and a beer right away!" he said.
As of Nov. 19, the fundraiser had more than $10,770, which included a $500 donation from Dr. Carpenter himself.
While Dr. Carpenter met his goal, he said he knows the ongoing needs of his community will continue to add up. To learn more about the nonprofit or make a donation, visit