Smile Train, Inc.

Rating: 2.7 stars   83 reviews

Nonprofit Issues:

Children & Youth, Health, International

Address:

41 Madison Ave 28th Floor New York NY 10010 USA

Mission:

Smile Train is an international children’s charity with a sustainable approach to a single, solvable problem: cleft lip and palate. Millions of children in developing countries with unrepaired clefts live in shame, but more importantly, have difficulty eating, breathing and speaking. Cleft repair surgery is simple, and the transformation is immediate. Our sustainable model provides training and funding to empower local doctors in 85+ developing countries to provide 100%-free cleft repair surgery in their communities. We use the “teach a man to fish” model focusing on training local doctors to perform cleft repairs in their communities. Those doctors then go on to train other doctors creating a long-term, sustainable system. Patients see their smile for the first time, parents cry tears of joy, lives and communities are changed forever. As a result of our efficiency and with the support of our donors and partners around the world, Smile Train has transformed the lives of more than one million children by giving them the power of a smile -- that's roughly 350 surgeries a day and 128,000+ every year. Join us and change the world one smile at a time.

Results:

Since its beginning in 1999 Smile Train has provided more than 1,000,000 free surgeries for children who would otherwise never have received it.

Target demographics:

children suffering from cleft lips and palates

Direct beneficiaries per year:

127,000+

Geographic areas served:

85+ of the world’s poorest countries

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More Info

1-800-932-9541
www.smiletrain.org

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Reviews for Smile Train, Inc.

Rating: 5 stars  

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.

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

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.

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

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.

 
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Rating: 4 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

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

 
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Rating: 2 stars  

45 people found this review helpful

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.

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

Spend less on VIP salaries/overhead and more to help the children with this defect.

Was your donation impactful?

Unlikely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

No

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

No

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

5 people found this review helpful

What a privilege to support this AMAZING organization! It's amazing when you recognize the incredible impact this organization makes on the children and families they serve. The fact that they can have this sort of impact for an average of $250 per surgery is stunning!

Congratulations on your great success Smile Train! You make a meaningful impact on a daily basis to the lives of millions.

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

None, that I'm aware of.

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

 
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Review from Guidestar
Rating: 1 stars  

55 people found this review helpful

I have given over a grand to what I had considered a worthy cause. Pres. Brian takes almost 700 thou. from this charity, a ludicrous amount. 2,800 cleft repairs are denied to push Brian into the enviable 1% of top takers. I was suspicious of his constant fundraising and his long standing at the helm of a charity. He should have moved on by now, so I did some digging and learned why he stayed, Smile Train is a pork train to anyone taking outrageous "compensation". I am sure Brian never left the office exhausted nor did anyone else. Why are they not part of Operation Smile????? I am a retired attorney and I shall follow through with the appropriate NY authorities. All compensation for staff at non profits should be spelled out prominently on their web site and not require an investigative journalist to seek out unconscionable gouging. Everyone opens their hearts and minds to these deserving children. Shame and more shame on profiteers!!!!!!!!

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

Have volunteer top managers from business and academia serve one year, unpaid terms and move on. No professional, non profit porkers need apply!!!!! Non profit salaries for top "executives" have become ludicrous almost without exception. The Salvation Army is almost without blemish and Jean Kroc rewarded their fine work with infrastructure bequests, not confiscatory salaries.

Was your donation impactful?

Unsure

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Unlikely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Unlikely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

4 people found this review helpful

#thepowerofasmile
Smile Train not only changes lives for people born with a cleft lip and palate it educates Dr.'s, Nurses, and the public on the stigma of being born with a cleft. Smile Train has created a model that gives back by empowering. I am honored to say that many of my family members and friends give to this organization.
I myself was born with a cleft palate and enjoy seeing the SMILES that are created by such a wonderfully powerful organization!
#thepowerofasmile

Sandy Kreif

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

 
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Rating: 1 stars  

28 people found this review helpful

I made a donation to Smile Train about 10 months ago. I have been bombarded with constant emails and mail requesting more donations. i took myself off of their email list but once in awhile still get an email but even worse is constant mail requests. I wrote them a letter asking them to take me off of their list and got another letter a couple of weeks later. This is a more than once a month, more like 3 times a month maybe 4 times request via mail for more donations. I wrote another letter to Smile Train asking that they take me off their list and hopefully this will work. I will never donate again to them fearing that this constant barrage will start all over again. I donated to St. Judes Children Hospital in Mephis and they are very respectful in sending me a once in awhile request for a donation. Smile Train would get a zero on the above rating if that was possible!

 
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Rating: 5 stars  

2 people found this review helpful

Smile Train is a charity near and dear to our hearts. They do tremendous work around the world saving lives by providing free surgeries to children and adults suffering from clefts. I was just in NYC and was able to visit the office and meet the people behind the scenes. I was impressed with everyone I met and feel like these people are dedicated to such a great cause. My family and I are very excited about continuing to fundraise for the Smile Train and hope to become even more involved in the future. I highly recommend this charity!

 
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