Dr. Allan Phillips, DDS, says he recognizes the value of bringing smiles to people’s faces.

That’s the inspiration behind the “Make Someone Smile: the Great Turkey Day Pie Giveaway” project at his offices in New Milford, Brookfield, Ridgefield and Bethel.

Phillips, an orthodontist, invited patients and their friends and families to sign up to give an apple pie to someone special this Thanksgiving. Pies were made by American Pie Co. in Sherman, and paid for by Phillips.

“Our hearts were so warmed hearing that Dr. Phillips is this generous,” said Erin Metz of New Milford. “I think it is extremely generous, very heartwarming.”

Elizabeth Caraluzzi of New Milford agreed.

“He’s wonderful,” Caraluzzi said of Dr. Phillips. “I think (the project) is great.”

Recipients included people facing health challenges, widows and widowers, the elderly, and others.

Olivia Gogola said the gesture reflects the “true spirit of Thanksgiving.”

“This made by holiday brighter, knowing someone is doing something selfless for someone else,” said Gogola, of Kent.

Fliers about the project were posted in the practice’s offices, and an email was sent to all patients. Blank cards were available for donors to pen a special message. Pies were picked up Monday to be delivered.

“We wanted to start something at holiday time for those who might be alone, or not with family, or who are a little sad,” Phillips said. “This might be a yummy, nice way to do that.”

“I’ve been in the community for a very long time,” Phillips said. “It’s been really wonderful, and I thought giving something back and putting a smile on someone’s face in another way would be appropriate.”

More than 100 pies were given through the act of kindness.

“Getting patients involved is a great way” to spread smiles, said Phillips, who has been practicing since 1977.

His wife agreed.

“People are thrilled to be doing something nice for someone else,” said Lori Ann Brass. “It’s incredibly heartwarming.”

Metz said she when she and her daughters talked about who would appreciate a pie, two people came to mind. They decided on their neighbor who doesn’t get out often.

She said the family decided to “go for a visit with (the neighbor) and make it something more, even more than for the pie, but for a real visit.”

Caraluzzi said her two teenage daughters immediately knew who they wanted to receive a pie - their great-grandfather, who lives alone and doesn’t want to “do the holidays.”

“I don’t even know where to start with Dr. Phillips,” said Metz, who has been a patient of Phillips since she was a girl. “He is the most kind-hearted man. He’s so willing to help people.”

Phillips said the response has been encouraging.

“We received an enormous amount of positive responses,” Phillips said. “When someone does something unsolicited (like this), a little goodness goes a long way.”