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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Health, Surgical Specialties

Mission:

Fresh Start Surgical Gifts transforms the lives of disadvantaged children and young people with physical deformities caused by birth defects, accidents, abuse, or disease through the gift of reconstructive surgery and related health care services. Our vision is to build a community of volunteers committed to seeing that every child with a physical deformity is given the opportunity to have a positive self-image, thereby enriching the lives of both the receiver and giver.

Results: Since our inception in 1991 Fresh Start Surgical Gifts has provided over $30,000,000 worth of donated medical care to over 7,000 children.

Target demographics: children and teens suffering from physical deformities

Direct beneficiaries per year: 408 children and teens were served through 1,175 treatments

Geographic areas served: United States and International

Programs: Surgery Weekends provide free reconstructive plastic surgery and related medical services to disadvantaged children and young people with physical deformities. Fresh Start hosts six to seven Surgery Weekends a year where some of the most knowledgeable experts in reconstructive surgery donate their time to transform the lives of over 500 children with deformities. Services are provided at the Fresh Start Clinic at Rady Children's Hospital in San Diego to children from the US and internationally by an all-volunteer team of surgeons and medical professionals. Some of the conditions treated include: Microtia, Hemangioma, Neurofibromatosis, Hairy Nevus, Cleft lip and Cleft palate, Treacher Collins Syndrome, Portwine Stains, and Hemifacial Microsomia. In our continued effort to offer holistic care to every child we serve, our Surgery Weekends also include a Laser Clinic and speech therapy.

Community Stories

28 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Lauraj155

Volunteer

Rating: 5

In 2010 my husband and I had the privilege of becoming host parents for Fresh Start Surgical Gifts. Fresh Start preformed two separate reconstructive surgeries at no cost to a then nine year old girl from Ethiopia who had her eye removed due to cancer at age two. These surgeries were a huge transforming experience due to the fact that Adele's left eye socket atrophied for seven years because there was never a prosthesis fit for her following removal of her eye in Ethiopia.

Adele resides with us now permanently and to this day Fresh Start continues to manage Adele's care with all follow up appointments with their surgeon and Ocularist. We cannot imagine what life may have been like for her without all of Fresh Start's brilliant volunteer staff and their generosity by giving her the gift of a prosthetic eye!

Previous Stories
2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Fresh Start Surgical gifts provides reconstructive surgery on disadvantaged children from all over the world at no cost. A Fresh Start surgeon preformed extensive eye socket surgery to our daughter who came to my husband and I from Ethiopia. She had cancer to her left eye which had to be removed. She is now wearing a prosthetic eye and is confident and happy once again thanks to the generosity of Fresh Start. We are forever grateful to them.

1 Steve183

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I work as a volunteer plastic surgeon and craniofacial surgeon on children and young adults with facial deformities who are treated for free through Fresh Start. This is a great organization who spends 100% of your donations on free care. Recently, we operated on a young lady with severe orbital and facial deformities from a birth defect. Here are her before and after photos. Dr. Hal Meltzer, Pediatric Neurosurgery and Dr. Don Kikkawa, Oculoplastic Surgery and myself performed an operation called a facial bipartition, followed by additional nasal and eyelid reconstruction. She is now 19 years old and has blossomed into a lovely young lady. We are thrilled for her.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The work that Fresh Start does never ceases to amaze me! I have personally seen children whose lives are changed due to the reconstructive surgery, dental and medical treatments – all at no cost to patients and their families. I especially love that 100% of contributions go directly to Fresh Start's medical programs. 100%! Plus, each child receives whatever follow up care and treatments are necessary post-surgery. I have been honored to help them and contribute personally and professionally to this amazing organization and will continue to do so.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've had the pleasure of working with the Fresh Start team for almost four years now and the entire crew has just been amazing. This team is truly dedicated to their cause, helping out not only locally and nationally, but worldwide to change the lives of children in need of their services. What really makes Fresh Start stand out to me is the fact that they support their patients long-term, providing not only surgeries (often several for just one patient), but ongoing therapy and more, and patients include many who started their journeys with Fresh Start as infants and are now in their teens, still receiving the attention they require. I've also been fortunate to hear about patients' journeys first-hand and it's just an incredible thing to witness. The sense of confidence that Fresh Start helps these children gain is something that is priceless. Many of them just want to fit in and feel like a "normal kid" -- the services and resources that Fresh Start provides give them just that, and helps them blossom into such amazing people. I am grateful to know the Fresh Start team and help support their mission!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have had the pleasure of working with the Fresh Start team for various outreach events and cannot be more impressed with how devoted and dedicated this team is to helping change the lives of children. They are very proactive about their efforts to raise as much awareness as possible for this nonprofit and it's so nice to work with such positive and friendly people!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Fresh Start Surgical Gifts is an incredible organization dedicated to helping children all over the world. It truly is amazing what they do every single day. I have heard so much about the team and their mission and I am truly inspired. They are completely devoted to their mission to help and transform lives - something they should be greatly applauded for.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My company works with Fresh Start and I have to say that they are a group of kind, hardworking and caring individuals that always seem to put themselves in front of others. The lives that they change on a daily basis and the help that they're able to provide across the globe is so inspiring. Fresh Start has really helped me put my life and goals into perspective and has energized me to give back to my community. 100% of contributions go directly to Fresh Start's medical programs. I couldn't think of a better organization to stand behind.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Fresh Start Surgical Gifts is an amazing nonprofit that provides underprivileged children with life-changing reconstructive surgery and medical treatments – all at no cost to patients and their families. 100% of contributions to go directly to Fresh Start's medical programs. Not only do they help transform the lives of children from around the world but they also create healthy, bright futures and instill confidence in each of their patients. Fresh Start also maintains long-term relationships with their patients, providing extensive follow up treatments and years of surgeries and medical services for most cases. Fresh Start takes a one-of-a-kind approach to address each child’s individual needs that includes laser clinics, dental clinics and a speech therapy clinic. Once a child is accepted into the Fresh Start program, volunteers will not rest until the best medical outcome has been achieved. This is a truly inspiring and generous cause that provides life-changing care to thousands of children in need.

2 Suma H.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I worked with fresh start this summer and I was awed by its achievements. The charity is dedicated to the children it benefits, and the staff truly works hard to make each patients' journey a success.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering with Fresh Start for almost a year now and have fallen in love with the work of the organization and the impact they have on their patients. This group is a true family, from the staff to surgeons, to volunteers and supporters. It is so refreshing to see that 100% of their contributions go directly to their medical programs so every donation fully helps children gain the self confidence they deserve. Seeing the transformations and smiles of the patients and their families just melts your heart and you know that your efforts here made a genuine difference in their lives!