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August 13, 2014

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August 13, 2014

I volunteered with Free to Smile in February, 2014 as a translator in Guatemala. What an amazing experience and organization. Free to Smile was well organized, communicated well, and took great care of patients, families, and volunteers. Being able to help the children and their families was one of the most meaningful experiences of my life. Thank you Free to Smile for your work and for allowing me to be a small part of it!

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Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

August 12, 2014

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August 12, 2014

I accompanied Free to Smile on a Guatemala mission and was impressed with how quickly the team became comfortable with each other and how wonderfully they worked together - you'd think they all worked with each other on a daily basis back home! Returning volunteers made the new volunteers feel so welcome and useful. Stacy and Byron did a great job at organizing all aspects and making each volunteer feel valued. Every team member worked so well with the families, too - such sincerity, love and compassion. It was a very inspiring week.

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Would you volunteer for this group again?

Likely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Likely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

March 5, 2013

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March 5, 2013

Wow! Another awesome mission trip with the Free To Smile Foundation in February to Uspantan, Guatemala. This was my 4th mission trip as a surgical nurse to Guatemala with Free To Smile. We were able to change the lives forever of 39 beautiful children during our surgical mission in Guatemala. I feel Blessed to be involved in this mission, to be part of the change that will allow these children to look and feel whole. As always, the attention to detail and the organization of this trip excelled thanks to the many talents of Stacy Henry. I was honored once again to work side by side with Dr. Byron Henry in the operating room. His surgical skills are truly incredible! The entire team was very flexible and talented as well. Thanks for another memorable mission!

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

February 27, 2013

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February 27, 2013

I volunteered as an anesthesiologist with Free To Smile on their mission to Uspantan, Quiche, Guatemala. It was a memorable trip in more ways than one. I have gone on several medical missions in the past with many different organizations and this particular mission was one of the most well organized. In terms of logistics and support, Stacy and her team were phenomenal. This was my first trip with them and I must say I was not sure how my interaction would be with a group of complete strangers. But, this special group of delightful people from Ohio showered me with kindness and generosity and made me feel as one of their own. ( I have always gone on missions with a group of professionals that I have worked with in New England). Dr Byron Henry is a highly skilled surgeon with a missionary zeal. His infectious enthusiasm and his concern for his team members is exemplary. I had an opportunity to work with a team of pediatric anesthesia professionals and this experience was truly educational.
On the whole this mission trip was very fulfilling. It never felt like work. It was like a family vacation.

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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?

2013

February 21, 2013

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February 21, 2013

As a Maxillofacial Surgery resident I had the unique opportunity to travel to Guatemala on a Free to Smile Trip in February of 2013. I was extremely impressed with quality and adaptability of the Free to Smile Organization. Stacy's team management, logistical coordination and support was the cornerstone to this uniquely well run trip. The team worked together extremely well and the efficiency of our time at the hospital surpassed that of the hospital that I work at currently in the United States. The team was curated tremendously well by Byron and Stacy. The mentorship I received from Dr. Henry inside and outside the OR has reinforced my passion for public health at a time in residency when it has waned. I value my experience in Guatemala as the single most rewarding experience, educationally and emotionally, that I have had since I began my residency.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

February 20, 2013

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February 20, 2013

I was a late and unexpected addition to the Free to Smile February 2012 Guatemala Cleft and Dental Mission team. What I experienced was one of the most emotionally draining and truly satisfying experiences of my life. Having never been exposed first hand to this type of organization or this type of trip it was mind boggling to me the efficiency at which it operated. Imagine this, 25 people coming from 2 different countries, 7 different states and 14 different cities leaving their egos (if they had any to begin with)at the airline gate and immediately functioning as 1 cohesive unit with 1 common goal - changing lives for the better.
I had not intended to immediately take another trip with Free to Smile and I must confess that the reason was purely a selfish one. My 2012 trip was such an emotional high for me that I feared it could not be duplicated and any less of an experience would dampen that high I so cherished. With a little hesitation I accepted their invitation to join the Free to Smile 2013 Cleft Mission Trip to Uspantan, Quiche, Guatemala. I learned many new things about Free to Smile on this trip. I learned that when you sign on with Free to Smile, it doesn't matter where you go or who goes with you, the mission always remains the same – change lives and make beautiful smiles. I learned that you will always find grateful, loving people who hold so much hope in their hearts. I learned that you will always be teamed with people who share in their selfless compassion to make someone else’s life better. I learned that for those of us who are a little bit selfish, the opportunity to feel emotionally and spiritually rejuvenated is ever present. I learned that no matter what adversity or challenges come their way (and on this trip there were a few), Free to Smile excels at adapting and overcoming, always keeping their focus on the care of the patients and their families.
My role provides me the ability to meet the families and get an understanding of the hopes that many of them have traveled so far with. I also benefit from being able to see and share in the joy and appreciation they feel when they first see the new life and opportunity that their child has been given. It is a moment that is truly beyond description and I’m sorry but I must say, best witnessed firsthand. My selfish fears are now gone and I am a witness and I am a believer to the incredible work performed by the Free to Smile Foundation. I will forever be at their call!

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

January 1, 2013

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January 1, 2013

I have now been on 3 trips organized by Free To Smile. I am honored to have been able to participate in the activities of this organization where very good quality medical care is provided in less than ideal situations, to people desperately in need of these surgeries and done so with an organizational structure that wastes nothing.
Beyond the reward of being able to help others it is also rewarding to be able to say thank you directly to a donor and know that what that generous person has decided to donate is respected by a body that uses these donations very efficiently.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

November 13, 2012

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November 13, 2012

I went on my first mission trip with Free to Smile. It was a great experience in my life. I was lucky enough to observe the wonderful work they do with cleft palate surgeries and how grateful people were for the care! I was fortunate to help so many people with the organization and it really helped me appreciate all that I have. Free to Smile is a wonderful organization that helps so many people!!!

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

November 13, 2012

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November 13, 2012

Many nonprofit charity groups are worthy of recognition, but Free To Smile stands apart from the rest. The people associated with this organization at every level exemplify selflessness and compassion, and it is evident in their work. They are focused and caring individuals who are driven to serve humanity on a global scale. I have participated as a surgeon on other mission trips, but my experience with Free To Smile has surpassed them all. I am proud of my association with this wonderful group of people, and look forward to many more opportunities to be a part of the Free To Smile team.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

November 12, 2012

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November 12, 2012

I recently went on my first mission trip with Free to Smile to Guatemala this past October. This trip was truly life changing. Not only was this trip well run but it was full of great people. The trip was efficient, well organized, and fully focused on helping those with dental needs, cleft lips and palates. This trip exceeded my expectations and I am looking forward to going on a trip again in the future.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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Help organize or host fundraising events, hold a drive to secure needed supplies (see our "wish list" at http://freetosmile.org/wish_list.php), provide office and administrative assistance.