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Saturday, December 18, 2010

Operation Smile: You Can CHANGE a LIFE! Think about the power in that statement for a moment....

Hi Ya'll, and Happy Holidays!

You know, there are so many worthy charities out there, and each year at Christmas, especially, instead of buying alot of useless stuff, most of it made in China, I try to focus on also putting aside money and giving to charities that are doing real good in the world.

This year, I'd like to submit to you for your consideration as well: Operation Smile.

It's hard to imagine just what this organization does, but with a donation of only $240 dollars, you can literally "change" a life. Stop and think for a moment just what a powerful statement that really is?

My friend has been giving to them each year (he also sponsors a child in Ecuador through another organization, which is also something I'm considering). But when he showed me the catalogue for Operation Smile recently, it would be hard NOT to feel for these children, needing the most basic of care.

Operation Smile focuses on children that are born with clef palettes and clef lips (as well as helping in other ways), and sends doctors all over the world to correct these malformations that not only lead to ridicule in their countries, but lack of self-esteem, and in some cases, no chance to ever get out of the cycle in which a twist of fate has put them. You can even pick if your surgery sponsorship will take place in Africa, Latin America, Asia... or don't specify and let the doctors decide the greatest need...

I know times are lean these days. But how often can you say that $240. can CHANGE a life? Some of us throw that away on needless things every month. On clothes that we still haven't worn. On shoes that don't fit. On expensive dinners we don't need....

But if you can't afford the $240 there are other ways to help. For instance:

$60 buys warm blankets for 12 children

$25 can be donated to the "most needed fund" (going to the medical mission where it can do the greatest good to provide free surgeries to children in desperate need.)

$30 buys post-op care kit for 1 child

$100 buys Smile bags for 150 children--(Volunteers hand sew these bags and fill them with donated toys, stickers and a mirror, so a child can see their new smile for the very first time. Your gift will help ship these bags to cheer up hundreds of children after surgery.)

$30 buys antibiotics for 10 children

$30 buys pain medication for 12 children

$50 can be donated to the surgery fund--(Often on medical missions, the doctors and nurses encounter children with severe burns or dental problems. Your gift will correct these medical conditions and give young patients a chance to experience freedom from what would have been a life-long burden.)

$100 can equip 1 pre-surgery station

$25. can equip 1 exam station

$50 buys IV starter kits for 25 children

$30 buys feeding bottles for 6 babies ( I almost stopped and wasted that on Sushi tonight! Geez!)

$75 buys surgery supplies for 1 surgery

$30 buys hospital gowns for 5 children

Or if you have more money, for $600 you can sponsor an operating table for a day, helping a total of 5 children!!

Here is some information from the Operation Smile website:

How Your Support Helps:

Every dollar counts. Every gift helps change a hurting child's life.

Your gifts transform lives:

• For a little as $240, you can help provide a cleft lip or cleft palate surgery. This surgery can change a child's life forever and can take as few as 45 minutes.

• Contributions in excess of surgical costs are invested into our sustainability programs, which empower our partner countries to treat more children on their own.

• Operation Smile has more than 4,000 credentialed medical volunteers ready to donate their time and talent. Your gifts help send them to countries where desperate children are waiting to be healed.

Your gifts help teach and train healthcare professionals:

• We have a worldwide network of teaching hospitals and university partners, including Duke University, The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia, Penn State Hershey Medical Center and many others.

• Your gifts help support our life-support training programs worldwide. Today, Operation Smile is authorized by the American Heart Association to function as a global and mobile International Training Organization.

• Our annual Physicians' Training Program (PTP) brings doctors and nurses from around the world to the United States for advanced training in their specialized fields.

Your gifts build awareness and leadership:

• Our International Foundations and U.S. Chapters raise funds, recruit volunteers and raise awareness on a grassroots level.

• With your support, Operation Smile continues to lead the way in effective, safe surgeries worldwide through medical diplomacy and research.

• 600 Operation Smile Student Clubs in the United States and around the world build awareness, conduct grassroots fundraising and educate students about values of commitment, leadership and volunteerism.

• The World Care Program brings children and young adults to the U.S. and other countries for surgeries that are too complicated to be performed during in-country missions.


For more information, go to:



Renee here again...

So, those are my two cents, and the charity I'm focusing on this year.

And, yes, again, I know there are many wonderful charities. And I support several of them. I also check them out thoroughly to make sure the most money goes to the most good. What I love about Operation Smile, is that they tell, as per above, in a quantifiable way, just where your money goes!

What a wonderful way to support the advent of a healthy child in your life, ... or to remember one that isn't, or to commemorate someone who has been an inspiration to you. I have people in all of the above categories... and for me this year, I will honor them this way. :-)

And with that, a final wish, for a healthy and happy holiday for us all.



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