My experiences witnessing the barriers to dental care motivated me to become involved with the organization Smile Train. I have fundraised for treatment for children with clefts and provided literacy to the community about cleft conditions. My involvement with this organization not only fulfilled me deeply, but also gave me a background in oral and maxillofacial terminology while also improving my communication and teamwork skills. This experience will inevitably prepare me for a career as a dentist and help me reduce health-care disparities.
I get so many frequent mailings from Smile Train, that I have to question how much money gets to the children and how much is wasted on mailings out to donors every few weeks. I have had at least 2 requests this year, responded to one of them with a payment, but am seriously looking to other charities now that I am getting almost weekly requests for money.
I gave to this 'Charity' and now get calls from paid callers (they even said that) CONSTANTLY!!!!
I have tried to get them to stop, now I just don't answer the phone....
The salaries of these 'not for profit' charities is regoddamndiculous!!!!
I now give to the Salvation Army, and the Salvation Army only......
I encourage you to do the same.
On behalf of our Smile Train staff, as well as all of the children we help, thank you for your support. With your help, we have been able to provide 1,000,000+ free cleft surgeries since 1999. We apologize for the volume of phone calls that you have received and for any offense that they may have caused you, please know that was never our intention. Please provide us with your name and telephone number and we will add you to the Do Not Call list right away. You can email the information to us at: Info@smiletrain.org, attn: donor relations manager. Please feel free to contact us directly if you have any other questions or concerns. Thank you for your support of Smile Train!
The impact that this organization has is incredible. I've been a donor and supporter of SmileTrain for a little over two years now, but I never fully understand the scope of their work until I had the opportunity to go on a Journey of Smiles in Peru. Speaking with the patients and their family gave me an entirely new perspective.
One child that particularly stands out is a 14 year old boy. He was small for his age, but he was wise beyond his years. He has that air about him. On a superficial level, I knew SmileTrain was paying for his surgery and that in itself is a wonderful thing. But, then we found out his back story and just how much it meant to him to finally get his cleft palate repaired and as much as the story was heartbreaking, it was also uplifting. Everything that this child had been through and the reason he wanted the surgery so he can become a police officer and provide for his family. And now he can and I know he will.
The average cost of a cleft palate/lip surgery globally is about $250. That's such a small amount of money in comparison to the benefits that are direct outcome from it. These kids can now attend school and go on to have normal and productive lives. And I can't wait to see all the wonderful things that these beautiful children go on to accomplish.
I've been working with and donating to Smile Train over the past 3 years. They invited me to India on their Journey of Smiles trip. What an amazing experience. They are changing the lives of children around the world and one surgery is only $250. There is no cure for clefts so the need is unwavering. They have an exceptionally effective business model and have conducted over 1 million surgeries in over 87 countries. Not to mention, the staff and board at Smile Train are compromised with some of the most professional, smart, and talented group of individuals that i've ever worked with. Smile Train is an amazing charity that does amazing work.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
I have given to Smile Train for many years. Once you give to this charity you are antedated with mail asking for more money. The AIP gives them a B- rating which is not good. The reason for this rating is because a small % is actually used to help the children.