Fresh Start Surgical Gifts

Rating: 4.94 stars   18 reviews

Issues: Health

Location: 2011 Palomar Airport Road Suite 206 Carlsbad CA 92011 USA

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.


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.
2011 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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More Info

EIN 33-0460177
760-944-7774
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

I have volunteered time on Surgery Saturday's and really enjoyed seeing all of the Doctors, Nurses, Dentists, and other experts give their time to such a wonderful cause. One particular patient that came from Russia was such an inspiration. She had undergone so many surgeries over the years and had such a great attitude. I would drive home wondering how such a young person could go through so much and deal with all of the issues she had faced and always be so happy. It puts a lot into perspective for those of us that don't face the same type of challenges. Volunteering for Fresh Start helps so many children and families, and truthfully, it helps the volunteers just as much! You can't work with Fresh Start and not gain an appreciation for the work that they do and all that you are blessed with.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

See above. I've personally seen happy children and families leave surgery weekends with a great outlook on life.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I can't think of any. This organization is run so well it's amazing. I've been a part of other charities and none of them compare.

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

Fresh Start is dear to my heart. I have volunteered as an RN over the years. I have watched some of the children grow up and find their sparkle after reconstructive surgery. Each volunteer gives their heart and energy for the children and young adults. I have met many fine kindhearted professional and lay persons giving their time to Fresh Start. As volunteers we are treated beautifully on the surgery weekends. My only wish is that I could give more time to this organization.
Our patients are the most grateful, brave special kids and adults!!!!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

The before and after surgery results and astonishing. This has transformed lives. Giving children and young adults confidence to fulfill thier potentional. They may mean attending school for the first time after reconstructive surgery or gaining the confidence to go out into the world.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

My only wish is that we could perform more surgeries on more patients.

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

I have only volunteered several times but I can say that it has been an absolute pleasure to help others aside Fresh Start employees and volunteers.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Patient Testimonials

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Upgrade medical equipment to more efficiently aide surgery weekends.

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

I have been volunteering at Fresh Start for about 5 years and will continue to volunteer for as long as I can. The staff is wonderful, everyone makes you feel like your part of the Fresh Start family. I have gained more from Fresh Start then I think I have given. It is a trully rewarding experience.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I have seen childrens lives change incredibly and dreams made come true.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

It is a smooth running machine, I wouldn't change a thing. I encourage more volunteers to join.

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

I’ve worked with Fresh Start and attended their events for over seven years. They are a group of dedicated and passionate doctors, nurses and volunteers.

The surgical gifts Fresh Start provides allow children with facial deformities a chance at a normal and productive life. One where they can leave the places they hide and enter the public without the humiliating stares and stigmatizing that often come with their deformities. Many of their patients come from cultures that are deeply intolerant. Fresh start gives them dignity and hope that would otherwise be difficult at best.

You would be proud of the work that they would do with any contribution you made.

Grant Ghow

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I've seen the joy on the faces of so many of the kids Fresh Start has helped

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I have no criticism of Fresh Start

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

I have been a volunteer recovery room RN with Fresh Start for 7 years and have watched this organization grow and expand its mission to assist children with physical deformities get the surgeries they need to transform their lives , even assisting with the expense of travel and accommodation.The staff are truly dedicated to meet the needs of both the children and their families, going the extra mile when something unexpected occurs. Mimi, the volunteer coordinator does an outstanding job ensuring all positions are covered with a very positive supportive manner.Fresh Start is an organization that watches its bottom line so the dollars go where they are needed most and is worthy of financial support

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Volunteer activity every 2 months

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

None

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

As a working actor in Hollywood, I have the privilege of playing in a lot of Celebrity Golf Tournaments that support a number of charities. I first was invited by Fresh Start to participate in their annual event a few years ago. Never have I met an organization that is so selfless in their pursuit of an individual cause. From the surgeons that donate their time for surgical procedures and counseling, to all the staff and volunteers that help so many children through their Foundation. Children born with physical deformities have a tougher time growing up, being accepted and leading normal, healthy lives. I am proud to be a supporter of Fresh Start and the humanitarian work they do for our children.

Jeff Rector

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I've met and talked with the children that have gone through these amazing transformational surgical procedures. I've seen them smile with hope, and I have personally witnessed the change in their personalities and attitudes that have come about from the incredible surgical gifts provided by FRESH START.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I wouldn't change a thing.

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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 5 stars  

4 people found this review helpful

I began volunteering with Fresh Start after my daughter took an internship with the organization. I have enjoyed every event and project and feel deeply moved by the mission and services they provide to children with physical deformities. As an elementary school teacher I see first hand how dramatically a child's life can be transformed when the right help is provided. Fresh Start transforms the entire child, inside and out, and allows them the opportunity to grow into healthy, happy and productive members of society. Great work!!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I have seen the results of this organization in the lives of the children they serve.

What I've enjoyed the most about my experience with this nonprofit is...

The transformation of the children, and the overwhelming support of the volunteers that make it happen.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every month

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-6-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

5 people found this review helpful

Fresh Start came into my life through one of my close friends that began interning at the non profit. She asked me to volunteer at one of her events which was a Celebrity Golf tournament and dinner. Everything was well organized, the turnout was great, the people I met were pleasant to work with and they raised a lot of money for children with physical deformities to get free surgeries. It was then that I really realized what Fresh Start really did. My brother was born with a cleft lip and palate and went through several surgeries as a child and well into his teens. I have witnessed firsthand how much a surgery like that can make a difference in someone's life and how important this organization is to the children that receive these surgical gifts. After that, I volunteered at their grand opening of a surgery center at Rady's Childrens Hospital and was able to meet some of the doctors that volunteered their time along with some of the top supporters of the company... another great experience. They take great care of their volunteers and even have an annual volunteer appreciation dinner. Knowing this, you can just imagine how great they take care of their patients and what a giving company this is. Since, I've attended several other Fresh Start events along with volunteering at the Golf event for the second time in which they surpassed their goal in contributions. I will continue to volunteer and intend to even join the Event Committee so I can help to make even more of a difference and so that Fresh Start can make a difference in me.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

volunteering. I've volunteered for several events.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every six months

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-6-01

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Rating: 5 stars  

8 people found this review helpful

The reason I got started volunteering at Fresh Start Surgical Gifts was because of a school project. One of my College classes required us to do some volunteer time with an organization that they had contact with. At the beginning of the year we were given a big long list of places to choose from. I recognized one of the contact names on the list from the little league I used to work at. She ran the snack bar and just happend to be the volunteer coordinator for Fresh Start. I started working a couple weeks later in their offices, just helping out with mailings and file organization type stuff, which I have to admit was not that exciting. It wasn't until my first Surgery Weekend with the them that I got to see first hand why this organization is so special. I hand the rare oppurtunity, as a first time volunteer, to actually work in the OR. Even though my job was not glamorous in any way (I cleaned and sanitized the ORs after surgery) it meant I got to see the patients before and after their operations. I got to see the differences in each persons appearence from when they went in to when they came out and to know that everyone around me was doing this out of their own time was a great feeling.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

Seeing the families and the way they are treated and react to being a part of the organization.

How frequently have you been involved with the organization?

About every week

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-6-01

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