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Fresh Start Surgical Gifts

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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

39 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I've been to a few of the events that Fresh Start has hosted to raise funds for these very deserving children. The staff and volunteers are so dedicated and seeing how they are transforming children's lives - is amazing. Such a great cause, and very honored to be associated with the Fresh Start Team!

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.

Michelle394

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Fresh Start Surgical Gifts is a wonderful organization that truly gives kids a fresh start in life. The love and caring a child or teen receives from the time they enter into the program is unmatched. All medical expertise and surgical care is provided by world class medical professionals and support staff completely pro-bono. During my time with Fresh Start I saw kids that would not make eye contact or smile become self-assured, confident young men and women. Most heartwarming is that many of the Fresh Start patients I knew as kids now come back as college students and adults to volunteer – that’s the highest praise an organization can receive.

There is never any cost to the family and Fresh Start patients stay in the program until the best possible outcome is achieved.

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

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My wife introduced me to Fresh Start and their mission to provide a better quality of life for underprivileged children through the gift of reconstructive surgery. What stood out to me about Fresh Start is the passion of the volunteers (surgeons, nurses, medical providers and staff) and that 100% of donations go into the medical programs. The positive impact this organization can make on a child and their families’ life is incredible! Each child receives long-term care and follow-ups to ensure the best medical outcome.

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

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I've always believed that if one has the ability and capacity to help, then they are obligated to do the right thing. This charity has a really great aim to improve the quality of life of children with medical needs, all with the help of an entirely volunteer staff (which is pretty incredible!) These people are here because they care and are committed to making a difference by devoting their free time to a great charity.

1

Advisor

Rating: 5

I have had the incredible opportunity to partner with and support Fresh Start in their mission to provide a better quality of life for underprivileged children through the gift of reconstructive surgery. What makes Fresh Start so unique and really strikes a chord with me is that the volunteer team of surgeons, nurses, medical providers and staff is extremely passionate about this cause and donates 100% of their time, allowing for all sponsor donations to go directly back into the medical programs. The positive impact this organization can make on a child and their families’ life is incredible and I am honored to support them and grateful for their efforts.

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!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Wow - what a REAL commitment to children who need life changing surgery. Fresh Start gives these children and their families a fresh start on their life. 100% of contributions go to helping these families have a Fresh Start. Everyone on their team is so committed and you can see that in everything they do or touch. Come to one of their "surgery weekends" and you can see this first hand for yourself.

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

Fresh Start Surgical Gifts provides cost free surgeries to kids from around the world to repair facial deformities & facial damage from major accidents, including places for the parents to stay free of charge during surgery and recovery. Many doctors, dentists, nurses, etc volunteer their time and surgical skills to make it happen. The staff of Fresh Start Surgical Gifts work wonders with the few fund-raiser events. A group of volunteers serve on the board in support of the full time staff.!

2 Greg O.

Board Member

Rating: 5

Great charity! Contributions go directly towards surgery for kids in need.

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Thank you for your splendid mission, dedication and love.
You not only make a difference in patient's lifes. You also touch the heart of people around them, by demonstrating that caring for the others is possible and make a concrete change in society.
Thank you, thank you, thank you for changing the life of my nice and nephew, and their family.
I'll be honored in participating as a volunteer. I don't know if there's something I colud do inspite the fact of distance. You still count with my prayers. Please tell everyone that they're changing our glass to see the world. Blessings

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteer for this organization, and they are great! There are no complaints from me. The Director of Development does a wonderful job in their duties!