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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!

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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?

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

November 8, 2012

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November 8, 2012

The work that Free to Smile does is life-changing and incredible. I have traveled 3 times with FTS and have seen the faces of the parents and children of Guatemala and experienced with them the joy of finally having a cleft lip or palate fixed. Free to Smile Foundation and it’s Founders, Byron and Stacy Henry, put their whole hearts into this foundation and the work they do. Traveling with FTS is easy because they are so well-organized. The planning and execution of trips is nearly flawless, so that everyone is able to focus on the purpose of the trip and accomplishing our goal of helping those in need in severely under served regions. I plan to return to Guatemala with FTS in February and I can't wait!

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 7, 2012

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November 7, 2012

I have been on many surgical trips before as a cleft surgeon but the FTS trip to Guatemala was the most organized trip I have ever been on. I am excited to be involved on another mission in the near 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

November 7, 2012

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November 7, 2012

Free to Smile is an incredible organization that delivers top-notch and life-changing medical care to under-served populations in many areas of the world. The administration, planning and logistics that are behind the delivery of care is meticulous and results in flawless execution of each mission by allowing the clinicians to focus on the patients. Dr. Byron Henry painstakingly mentors and guides team members on trips, creating a congenial and rewarding environment, which is directly reflected in the outstanding team dynamic, function and attitude. This all translates into an efficient, enjoyable and eminently rewarding experience for the individual team members, and produces an optimal environment for delivery of compassionate care. The level of that care is unparalleled, with a variety of procedures being completed, but focused on cleft lip and cleft palate repair. Direct follow-up is maintained through in-country connections to ensure outstanding functional and cosmetic results. The impact that Free To Smile has on these patients is truly profound, and the same can be said for the positive impact on the volunteers. Participation with Free To Smile has been one of the most meaningful things that I have done in my life, and it is unreservedly a truly outstanding organization and deserves to be recognized as a Top-Rated Nonprofit.

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.