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2019 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Free to Smile Foundation Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Health, Medical Disciplines, Philanthropy, Philanthropy, Charity & Voluntarism Promotion, Surgical Specialties

Mission: Free to Smile Foundation is dedicated to supporting and sustaining comprehensive, quality surgical and dental services to poor and underprivileged children and adolescents throughout the world. To this end, our volunteers and partner organizations will provide free surgical, dental and educational care for all that are served by the foundation across the globe.

Results: Free to Smile Foundation brings together individuals with a common vision who take action and do what we can to make the world a better place. We have worked hard to forge strong partnerships with local organizations at our mission sites in Guatemala, Tibet, Cambodia, and Niger, and look forward to expanding our reach through the support of friends, donors, and volunteers.

Target demographics: Free to Smile Foundation targets poor and underprivileged children and adolescents through comprehensive, quality surgical and dental services.

Direct beneficiaries per year: Free to Smile Foundation performs an average of 35-55 cleft lip or palate surgeries on each surgical mission, and provides dental care for 100-200 patients on each dental mission. From February 2011 to February 2012, direct beneficiaries exceeded 500 children and adolescents.

Geographic areas served: Current mission sites include Guatemala, Tibet, Cambodia,Ethiopia and Niger.

Programs: Our team of doctors and volunteers donate all services to patients at no charge. To ensure all donated money is used most efficiently to help the children in need, we pay our own airfares to our mission sites in Guatemala, Cambodia, Tibet, and Niger.

Community Stories

62 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I had the great fortune of being able to volunteer with FTS last April in Guatemala and found it to be tremendously rewarding. I learned so much from the caring and talented volunteers who came from all over the country to assist this organization in treating the immensely deserving and grateful people of Guatemala. I know that we were signing up to help the underprivileged people of Guatemala to receive the dental care and cleft palate surgeries that they needed so desperately, but I came away from the experience with so much as well. I plan to continue supporting Free to Smile for many years to come.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

FTS is an extremely well run and structured organization.
It is directed by a very caring team, which is dedicated to patient care, safety and clinical outcomes. In my opinion, their approach to global surgery is unparalleled.
It is the best organization I have ever worked with! Hope to continue to work with them in the future!

Khurram Ashraf K.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have had the opportunity to volunteer as a surgeon, for Free To Smile on two separate mission trips. They truly do a fantastic job. Extremely organized. Very passionate. It truly is an honor to work with them.

ahuddle

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I'm traveling with the Free to Smile team to Addis Ababa, Ethiopia for the fourth time in early 2020. I always wanted to go on a mission trip and was offered an administrative role on a trip to Ethiopia in 2015. The trip truly changed my life and continues to make an impact on my life. To witness a small group of doctors volunteer their time and pay their way for each trip to change the life of 30-40 children is humbling and admirable. As a parent myself, it's difficult to meet a mother or father that was left by their spouse because the child was born with a cleft lip. The gift of a cleft lip or palate repair is much more than just a cosmetic change; it changes the child and parent's life in many ways. God bless Free to Smile for the work they do every day.

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3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I learned of Free to Smile after I met the co-founders at our son's school. I will never forget how impressed I was to hear of their travels and works. Throughout the last five years, I've attended fundraisers and donated money to support their efforts. Last fall, I had the opportunity to travel to Ethiopia on a mission as the administrative role. It's difficult to find the words to explain how the trip changed my life. The group of people that run FTS and those that attend FTS trips are so selfless, compassionate, generous and loving. I realize there are much larger organizations that fund cleft lip and palette surgeries, but FTS is different. The volunteers pay their own way willingly and don't expect any financial support from the FTS fundraising. If you're looking to help children have a new life by correcting their cleft lip or palette, this is the organization to donate to. Every dollar you give truly changes a life.

Vickie Combs W.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was so fortunate to volunteer in 2018. My first trip with Free to Smile to Guatemala was the most rewarding thing I have ever done. These children will tug your heartstrings. The feeling you get when you carry that baby to their momma with a new smile is something you don’t forget and is hard to hold back the tears at times. This Foundation means a lot to me and I plan to go back on another mission

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I went for my first cleft mission trip with FTS to Guatemala. We partnered with Tess Unlimited and helped over 50 children and babies doing primary cleft surgical work. What I think is so cool is that this was no sort of "fly-in" mission. There were very detailed and appropriate follow-up measures taken for each child we saw. Tess Unlimited made sure the kids were well nourished before going to surgery, ensuring a separate "milk program" that was planned out well in advance. These children had speech therapists, locals in the community that partnered with us, and we were able to do some surgical teaching as well. I hope to join several mission trips in the future with this group because I feel they approach the cause in the correct long-term manner.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is my 3rd Mission trip with Free to Smile. They are the best nonprofit organization I have ever been involved with. Everyone is welcoming and friendly . They change the lives of the patients, their families and communities!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My time is my most valuable commodity. I can think of nothing I enjoy more than spending quality time with family and friends creating memories I will have for the rest of my life. That being said, for 3-4 weeks each year I travel abroad to provide anesthesia for children in need. I have worked with a number of organizations, all of which I thought were very productive. Ultimately I found a home with Free to Smile. Free to Smile and their partners work tirelessly to provide the best care available for children with cleft lips and palates. FTS allows me to utilize my talents to give families in need an improved quality of life, and children with clefts the chance to lead a normal life.

Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have volunteered on every surgical trip Free to Smile has organized since 2013. Our goal on each of these trips has been to provide excellent medical care for children in need. Each of these children deserves the best chance at a happy, fulfilling life. Our incredible volunteers come together under challenging conditions to make this happen. I feel lucky to have found Free to Smile, and I am honored to donate my time, skills and dollars to help Free to Smile provide care for these children.

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Board Member

Rating: 5

It's hard to even put into words how incredible Free To Smile Foundation is. The Foundation makes several mission trips throughout the year to countries including Guatemala, Ethiopia, and Niger among others.
I was able to go on the most recent mission trip to Guatemala with my daughter, and it was truly life changing. Our team successfully provided 49 surgeries and 224 procedures to children in need in just one mission trip!
I'm beyond grateful to be part of this organization. Thank you FTS for all the good you do in this world.

Norm A.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

One of the best cleft lip and palate nonprofits out there. They strive to treat children with cleft deformities with humanity and with the highest surgical standards possible.

Stacy Gustin H.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Free to Smile Foundation has changed the lives of thousands of children living in impoverished worlds. Thus giving them a chance in life and building their self esteem. The volunteers for FTS are top notch and give 120% rather on a mission or helping here close to home. Our organization runs on the principles of care and compassion for those living in a less fortunate world.

fvirnelli

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am a plastic surgeon and have worked as a volunteer with 6 different organizations repairing cleft lips and palates in developing countries in the last 40 years. The 10 projects with Free To Smile have been exceptionally well organized and efficiently run with the best results that I have seen.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a plastic surgeon and have been a volunteer with many organizations involved in repair of cleft lips and palates in Latin America and Africa. Free To Smile is unique in operating with the lowest possible overhead while recruiting the most enthusiastic volunteers that I have worked with and obtaining the best results that I have seen on any of my projects. It is a very special group with great leadership.

Casey_Brown

Board Member

Rating: 5

Free to Smile helps children around the world in underserved areas with cleft lip and palate repair surgeries. You can learn that in 5 seconds on their website. What you can't ever discern from a website is the visceral, heart-filling experience of watching a parent see their baby for the first time after surgery... see them lay eyes on their sweet baby smile a healed smile. They dream with their whole hearts for the world to see their children as they see them: beautiful, whole, lovely. With Free to Smile's help, the surgery can help the world see what the parents see. And it's about so much more than appearance. With the surgeries, children have improved speech, nutrition, educational opportunity, social experiences, job opportunities, etc. Free to Smile's work has changed thousands of lives, including mine. Thank you, Free to Smile!

Previous Stories
1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered with Free to Smile in February, 2014 as a translator in Guatemala. What an amazing experience and organization. Free to Smile was well organized, communicated well, and took great care of patients, families, and volunteers. Being able to help the children and their families was one of the most meaningful experiences of my life. Thank you Free to Smile for your work and for allowing me to be a small part of it!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Just completed my 6th mission trip with Free To Smile! Always amazing to be a witness to the life changing work they perform on children suffering from cleft birth defects. Without the work of these volunteers these children would suffer from malnutrition issues and a life of being pushed into the shadows. It is also refreshing to witness a group of individuals coming together from all over the country (many not knowing each other) and forming a team with 1 common goal - make someones life better!

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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!

David G.9

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am a pediatric cleft surgeon. I have been apart of several mission trips. Great organization that provides so much good to the world. Feel extremely blessed to be apart of their team.

Tammie M.

Board Member

Rating: 5

My wife, son and I have been on a mission trip to see what impact this organization has on children and were truly amazed...thank God for these folks!...they were kind and were able to help many needy children...this is one of the many reasons I continue to support Free to Smile
Foundation, Inc. (Jim Boltz)

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I just went on a cleft lip/palate trip to Guatemala with Free to Smile, and was amazed at the work done by this incredible group of people. My role was photographer for the group, and I saw first-hand the joy on the parents' faces when they saw their child after surgery. To see them thanking the volunteers and telling them tearfully that they have changed their child's life and they can now have a future - it was an amazing sight to behold. As a mama of a cleft lip and palate child myself, I am so happy to see the dedication and love that goes into and pours forth from Free to Smile. So many thanks to all the volunteers for all that they do!

Michael354

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

In April of 2015 I was invited to join the Free To Smile team in Guatemala. I'm a general dentist. My responsibility was to offer dental care to the supporting teams in Guatemala and their families. The experience was a delight. I worked with my dental assistant daughter and surgeon son. It was the experience of a lifetime. Watching particularly the mothers of these blessed children react when first seeing her child with the obvious defect corrected was priceless. Watching my little girl and my little boy bless the lives of these Guatemalan children was a lifetime moment. Will soon forget the moments. I shall never forget how I felt.
Mike Gailey, DDS MS

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have had the pleasure of volunteering on multiple medical missions with Free To Smile. I look forward to every one of them. These medical missions are what keep me going through the year at my job back home. The board members, who participate on and organize the medical missions, truly care about and have a passion for what they are doing and that translates to all of the volunteers. Whether you're a new volunteer or seasoned, everyone is friendly and welcoming. Stacy is amazing! EVERY trip is well-organized and she makes sure everything runs smoothly and we have what we need to take care of all the children. I have volunteered on medical missions with other organizations and none have topped the quality and caring I have seen with Free To Smile. I am proud to be a part of such a wonderful cause with a fantastic Foundation.

2 Carla35

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have gone on three mission trips with Free to Smile in the past year. This organization has truly changed my life along with the hundreds of children they help every year. Every trip has run smoothly and is adequately staffed. Free to smile truly puts forth its resources to make sure every child they serve has top notch care throughout the perioprative process. I can't say enough about Free to Smile. They are a cut above the rest!

3

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have the pleasure of volunteering with free to smile three to four times a year. It is a testament to the organization that we routinely have return volunteers who actively recruit new volunteers to further our mission. Byron and Stacy Henry, our founders, continue to show the same level of passion for helping the children of Latin America and African countries that they showed when the organization was initially founded. Every mission is meticulously planned and all volunteers are highly qualified for the position the will fulfill. I look forward to continuing to watch Free to Smile grow.

4

Donor

Rating: 5

This small organization does amazing work. My son volunteered with their Guatemala cleft lip/ palate mission in 2013. It was absolutely amazing to see the lives they changed and the hope they gave these kids, young adults and families. They do all this with donations... I was so amazed that I have developed a program in which our small family business , the Dramm Corp.,promotes Free to Smile and donates financially... "springing Hope, Gardening for Smiles". Stacy and Byron Henry are the 'real deal', with their hearts in the right place:)

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered ,for the first time,with FTS this past September and cannot wait go with this organization again. They were organized with our transportation accommodation and meals. And more so, the organization on the ground with the hospital and Tess UnLimited was flawless. It made the work us volunteers had to do so much smoother and easier.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a registered nurse and I have traveled to Guatemala with Free to Smile for the last 7 years. This is an extraordinary group of talented and caring individuals who come together a week at a time to change lives. The work they do, and the caring they show to each person they come in contact with is cherished by those they touch. They do more than surgery. They give children a future.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love Free to Smile! I am a high schooler who loves the work FTS does to help children in third world countries. I can't go on a mission trip, but I still try to help with mailings and local fundraisers.

siacono

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteer regularly with Free to Smile Foundation. They are the best. Everything on a mission runs smoothly and the environment is always positive and fun. The work done by FTS is amazing. To be able to be there personally to see the changes that are being made in the lives of those in need and to see the look on parents faces when their baby is finally repaired is an experience I will always treasure.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer surgeon with FTS for 3 years and multiple missions. Every time my respect and admiration of this organization, and the people behind it, continues to grow.

Nearly 3 years ago I wrote:

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.

Those words are more true today than they were when I wrote them.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I went on my first mission to Guatemala in September 2013 as a non medically trained person. Each volunteer pays their own airfare, hotel and meals. Everything is well organized. The money you donate truly goes to the patient surgery and care. I have donated both time and money to Free To Smile and highly recommend them. Free to Smile changes the life of the patient, their family, the volunteer, making the world a little bit better.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been on several FTS mission trips as a translator. It has always been an honor and privilege to participate in the life changing procedures carried out by the FTS volunteers. I never imagined being able to use my language skills in such a meaningful way. I am grateful to have been involved with FTS, and look forward to my future involvement. I feel like I have gotten out as much or more than those that we have served. Dr. and Mrs. Henry are true heroes to the impoverished, and run a top notch organization with no agenda other than to serve those less fortunate. I thank them for the opportunity to help out.

1 sghenry

Board Member

Rating: 5

Where should I begin?????
As Co-Founder, Executive Director and a Board Member, it is obvious that I am passionate about our organization and our cause!! Entering our sixth year as a non-profit providing FREE cleft lip and cleft plate surgery and dental care to the impoverished, Free to Smile has been able to change the lives of 400 cleft children and 2,500 dental patients. We have taken nearly 350 volunteers on missions and worked with numerous others here locally. All of our volunteers are extremely invested in FTS as well. Each of them pay for their own airfare and their in country fees associated with each trip. There are no free rides which genuinely tells us that these volunteers REALLY want to be there and to help those FTS patients around the world! If you were to ask any of our volunteers, I think they would tell you Free to Smile is like a family-- that after spending a mission together there is a bond like no other. To me that is pretty special and that is why our volunteers return year after year for more missions or to help in other ways!
Free to Smile has been greatly supported by all private donations and grants. We receive nearly all our medical and dental supplies through donations from companies and other non-profits disbursing such supplies. This allows a donors money to truly help children and NOT to pay for large office buildings and grand overhead expenses. To us, this makes Free to Smile special!

1 Lauren86

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a pediatric nurse and volunteered on a mission trip to Guatemala this past year. This experience with Free To Smile changed my life in more ways than one. It is hard to put into words what this organization does for those underprivileged and ostracized in this world. Free to Smile gives those in desperate need a chance to be part of their community and also gives them a second chance at life that they would not normally be granted. Their selfless giving shows such great compassion to these children and their families. To see the smiles on the children and their loved ones is one of the greatest gifts I've been given. Stacy and Byron Henry are truly great people who genuinely care to make a difference in this world. I am so privileged to be a firsthand witness to their unique gift to the world.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Free To Smile Foundation is definitely a GREAT Nonprofit and an incredible organization! I have been a special event volunteer with FTS for the past four years. FTS provides life-changing cleft lip and palate surgeries and dental services/education programs, which are improving the lives of so many people and their families throughout the world! FTS has a special place in our hearts, as our daughter was born with a cleft lip and palate 15 years ago. We know, first-hand, how incredibly challenging this birth defect can be with regards to feeding, overall nutrition, many surgeries, and socially, as well. To hear the stories about how some of the children and adults are shunned in these impoverished, third-world countries because of their deformity, makes us very sad. At the same time, we are very grateful for the wonderful care our daughter received here in the US and we are extremely impressed with the work of FTS in other countries around the globe to help these individuals with our same challenges. We know how much it means to receive help in repairing the cleft lip and palate and the positive results that affect many areas of someone's life - especially a child's life! The FTS Co-Founders, the FTS Board, and the mission and event volunteers have a genuine passion for wanting to help others and make a difference. I am very proud to be involved with such a wonderful organization.

Simon2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I'm impressed by the efficiency with which donated resources and funds are delivered to the care of patients.

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Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Hello there, this was second mission trip and my first with Free to Smile. Great trip, awesome team, very well run organization. This trip was to rural Guatemala, the people were very appreciative and welcoming. Can't wait for the next one.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I accompanied Free to Smile on a Guatemala mission and was impressed with how quickly the team became comfortable with each other and how wonderfully they worked together - you'd think they all worked with each other on a daily basis back home! Returning volunteers made the new volunteers feel so welcome and useful. Stacy and Byron did a great job at organizing all aspects and making each volunteer feel valued. Every team member worked so well with the families, too - such sincerity, love and compassion. It was a very inspiring week.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 4

I volunteered as an anesthesiologist with Free To Smile on their mission to Uspantan, Quiche, Guatemala. It was a memorable trip in more ways than one. I have gone on several medical missions in the past with many different organizations and this particular mission was one of the most well organized. In terms of logistics and support, Stacy and her team were phenomenal. This was my first trip with them and I must say I was not sure how my interaction would be with a group of complete strangers. But, this special group of delightful people from Ohio showered me with kindness and generosity and made me feel as one of their own. ( I have always gone on missions with a group of professionals that I have worked with in New England). Dr Byron Henry is a highly skilled surgeon with a missionary zeal. His infectious enthusiasm and his concern for his team members is exemplary. I had an opportunity to work with a team of pediatric anesthesia professionals and this experience was truly educational.
On the whole this mission trip was very fulfilling. It never felt like work. It was like a family vacation.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Cortney H.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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!!!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Free to Smile is changing lives all over the world through cleft palate surgeries and other dentistry needs. In June 2012 my daughter volunteered on the Niger trip, which proved to be a life changing event for her as well as the many patients who came to the hospital. Her experience there touched us all and the lives that were impacted serve as a reminder of the true needs in the world for children and adults in developing countries. To hear of malnourished children kept in sheds separate from the rest of their families because of a deformity believed to be a curse to the family is beyond gut-wrenching. For the patients to finally be able to eat and keep nourishment in their mouths because of the surgeries offered by Free to Smile is cause to do more. Free to Smile volunteers pay their airfare and room and board, the budget is tight and the administrative costs of the organization are spartan compared to other organizations. Their goal is to help as many people as possible in every way possible. To say I've been impressed with Free to Smile would be an understatement.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

After participating in my first mission with Free to Smile in October 2012, I was blown away with the management and planning that allowed the trip to run so smoothly. FTS not only provides free surgical and dental care to their patients, but they partner with local organizations in each region to ensure their patients are looked after once the mission is complete. It was a privilege to work along side the skilled volunteers recruited by FTS. I have never been a part of such a diverse group of individuals with varying professions who were truly able to collaborate together. I am so thankful to be a part of this organization.

Lilian F.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Awesome Non-profit organization that donates time, treasure and talent to those in need. This organization is changing the lives of many children and adults in various countries. A smile can change the world!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Wonderful organization providing life-changing procedures to children who otherwise would not have their cleft lips or palates repaired. It was amazing to watch the reactions of the parents the first time they saw their child after surgery. Extremely fun and hardworking group of people and overall very rewarding experience.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Great group of people, providing a wonderful service!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Volunteering for Free to Smile and traveling to Guatemala was as life changing for me as it was for the children we helped. Children's smiles and lives were transformed in such a short time. A cleft lip and/or palate can be such a minor deformatory but left untreated is a life long disfigurement. Children around the world deserve to smile freely and that is exactly what this amazing non profit provides. I am beyond proud to be apart of this organization.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Free to Smile is a wonderful non-profit. It provides life-changing and often times life-saving services for men, women and children in underdeveloped countries all around the world. I am proud to be a part of the work they do.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

As a dentist, we went to Guatemala knowing that we would extract teeth and try to help those in pain. It was so much more however. We not only helped get some very appreciative people out of pain, but we restored and saved many teeth in children and young adults. And the Free to Smile team has a level of organization that allowed us to help as many people as we could. The patients were present at the clinics and there was little downtime. We also had a chance to become immersed in the culture and enjoy the food and country side. It was a great trip and I highly recommend experiencing a mission trip like this. And Free to Smile is a great non profit that facilitates this great experience.

Angela41

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My husband and I traveled with FTS to Guatemala on a life changing mission-one that not only impacted the lives of hundreds of children but changed our lives as well. With the whip of a stitch a child's life was transformed before my very eyes, literally. In less than an hour, volunteer surgeons repaired a facial deformity that had kept a child from living "life". I was amazed! The folks who started the organization are sincerely dedicated to the cause and spend much of their "free time" traveling the world helping those less fortunate. FTS is a small non profit that is worthy of your donation. Give freely!!!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Free to Smile is a fairly new group, unhampered by complicated administrative processes and as a result is able to channel the vast majority of funds directly towards patient care. I have been to Niger and Guatemala with Free to Smile, paying my own expenses and attending to administrative tasks and providing nutrition education. The founders are an enthusiastic and committed couple, who are not only passionate about their foundation, but have a wonderful relationship with their volunteers. The trips are well organised and there is a camaraderie amongst teams members which is a direct reflection of the foundations goal - to work together for the benefit of those less fortunate than ourselves.

2

Donor

Rating: 5

Free To Smile is organization providing dental care with an emphasis on cleft lip and palate repair in poor and underserved areas around the world. My son, a dentist, has been on multiple trips to Guatemala and Cambodia with this group. The experience has changed his life and he has helped impove the lives of hundreds of children on these trips. Go to the Free To Smile website to see some of the photographs from their trips; just seeing these photographs will impact your life too. Volunteers pay their own airfare and lodging costs. Free To Smile is a well run and efficient program funnelling almost all their funds into providing dental and surgical care to those children around the world in desperate need of their help. It is an honor to be associated with this altruistic and generous organization.