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Smile Train, Inc.

Rating: 2.78 stars   86 reviews 42,003

Address:

41 Madison Ave 28th Floor New York NY 10010 USA

Mission:

Smile Train is an international children’s charity with a sustainable approach to a single, solvable problem: cleft lip and palate. Millions of children in developing countries with unrepaired clefts live in shame, but more importantly, have difficulty eating, breathing and speaking. Cleft repair surgery is simple, and the transformation is immediate. Our sustainable model provides training and funding to empower local doctors in 85+ developing countries to provide 100%-free cleft repair surgery in their communities. We use the “teach a man to fish” model focusing on training local doctors to perform cleft repairs in their communities. Those doctors then go on to train other doctors creating a long-term, sustainable system. Patients see their smile for the first time, parents cry tears of joy, lives and communities are changed forever. As a result of our efficiency and with the support of our donors and partners around the world, Smile Train has transformed the lives of more than one million children by giving them the power of a smile -- that's roughly 350 surgeries a day and 128,000+ every year. Join us and change the world one smile at a time.

Results:

Since its beginning in 1999 Smile Train has provided more than 1,000,000 free surgeries for children who would otherwise never have received it.

Target demographics:

children suffering from cleft lips and palates

Direct beneficiaries per year:

127,000+

Geographic areas served:

85+ of the world’s poorest countries

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More Info

1-800-932-9541
www.smiletrain.org

Reviews for Smile Train, Inc.

Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars   Featured Review

8 people found this review helpful

Smile Train is a wonderful organization. I really love the mission and seeing how a simple surgery opens the door for these kids, giving them the chance to rise to their full potential. The staff I have interacted with are all incredibly caring and dedicated, and the charity accomplishes an amazing amount with relatively few people. By all accounts the new leadership has the organization more focused and efficient than ever. Absolutely one of the best charities out there.

How does this organization compare with others in the same sector?

Very Well

How much of an impact do you think this organization has?

Life-changing

Will you recommend this organization to others?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

 
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Role: General Member of the Public
Rating: 5 stars  

From Chicago to Mexico
Graham Elliot Takes a Journey of Smiles to Visit Smile Train’s Local Programs in Mexico

I remember like it was yesterday… I arrived in Mexico City on my Journey of Smiles hosted by Smile Train (smiletrain.org), the world’s largest cleft charity, and was greeted by the most heartwarming welcoming party imaginable; a choral group of seven children, all of who had undergone surgery to repair a cleft lip or palate. I learned that not only did the singing boost the children's sense of self-esteem, but it also acted as a form of speech therapy that the kids actually enjoyed doing.

After the joyous singing and dancing came to end, a group of us drove out of the city to visit with Jasmine, a seventeen-year-old single mother of two. The newest addition to her family, a six-week-old baby boy name Ivan, was born with a cleft lip and palate. This was not caught during her routine ultrasound so it came as a total surprise, leaving Jasmine wondering what to do or where to even start.

At that very moment all I could think about was my son Conrad who was born with a bilateral cleft lip. My wife Allie and I were also caught off guard as we knew of nobody in our family that was born with a cleft. Our doctor at that time mentioned that a bilateral cleft could be indicative of Down syndrome, so we didn’t know what to expect or prepare for. Although we sympathized greatly with Ivan’s mother considering our similar situation, we reassured her that everything was going to be fine because she was in good hands with Smile Train. We even showed before and after photos of Conrad's surgery so she could get a sense of what to expect.

We're happy to say, little Ivan has received his first surgery. Allie and I are hoping to make it back down to Mexico City to assist in any way and be there for support. It's safe to say that Ivan will need some additional surgeries, but with Smile Train's outreach and ability to create sustainable ways to repair clefts, he's most certainly set up for success.
It was great to see firsthand that Smile Train is there to help turn those dreams into a reality. I am happy that I was also able to share my story with one of Smile Train’s patients while in Mexico, giving them comfort in knowing that they are not alone. All parents want the same thing for their children – a long, happy and healthy life.

(Photo Credit: Baby Ivan and me just after I finished giving him his midday bottle.)

 
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Review from #MyGivingStory
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Role: General Member of the Public
Rating: 5 stars  

I have chose this charity as it's a life changing operation which is simple. I was lucky to have free surgery in the UK after being born with a cleft lip and palate ,but so many children are left in isolation with untreated clefts.
The operation gives a immediate transformation and children see their smile for the first time. I am pleased to say I am supporting this charity fundraising by taking part in a event locally in Cornwall near lands end. Looking forward to giving the children the power to smile.

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

I have loved donating to the Smile Train for years. By training local doctors to perform this free surgery, they are enabling thousands of patients and their families to lead happy and fulfilled lives. I also love that all of my donations go directly to help them. And I love reading the success stories - what a blessing.

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

SmileTrain is a great organization with a great team. I have been associated with them for the last 10 months and have nothing but positive experiences. I have also visited 2 of their offices. They run a lean operation and are serious about making a difference. You are welcome to reach out to me if you have any questions or doubts.

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

We have been supporters of Smile Train for a couple of years. We recently had a holiday in Myanmar and in our travels visited a school in Oe Pho (a village on the Irrawaddy between Myanaung and Danubyn). The children were very excited to see us and but we noticed a young lad of about 11/12 years of age who had an unrepaired cleft and was very shy. Our fellow travellers commented and we were able to say that Smile Train has now started work in Myanmar. We hope that our recent donation will go towards children in Myanmar having surgery and their lives, like their faces, transformed.

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

3 people found this review helpful

The work of the Smile Train has an incredible impact in the life of children around the world, it goes far beyond than fixing the anatomical and functional medical problems associated to having a cleft palate. It magically touches their life by making them feel like others, not ashamed anymore of their sometimes badly desfigured faces. In many places of the world children with cleft palate and other deformities are discriminated and separated from society. The free surgeries provided by the Smile Train open for them the door to a life full of opportunities. It is a blessing for the children, their families and their entire community.

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

I have been supporting Smile Train for some time as the work they do for children and some adults with cleft pallets is amazing. This facial issue is actually relatively easy to correct - but, sadly, there are so many affected around the world who suffer from insults and are ostracized or hidden in their societies simply because they look different. It is a joy to see the smile on the face of someone who has suffered such emotional hardship and has been helped to have a smile by the Smile Train team. Thank you to everyone involved with Smile Train for the excellent and beneficial work you do.

 
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Rating: 4 stars  

4 people found this review helpful

Our first kid was born with a cleft. The necessary surgery was done immediately and paid by our Czech health system. We decided with my wife to help the less lucky kids who cannot get such a treatment for free or afford it themselves.
Smile Train is good in communication - we always get nice updates and clear statistics - and easy to donate. We have been supporting them for 5 years.
Jiri Vanek, Kutna Hora, Czech Republic, Europe

 
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Role: Professional with expertise in this field
Rating: 5 stars  

7 people found this review helpful

This charity is under new management and is doing great work. I wrote the book on cause marketing, The Business of Cause Marketing and have studied charities for more than 15 years. It is shocking that they do not have a better rating on this site!

 
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