Over 1.8 million nonprofits and charities for donors, volunteers and funders

2017 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Smile Train, Inc.

Claim This Nonprofit

More Info

Add to Favorites

Share this Nonprofit

Donate

Volunteering Oportunities

Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Birth Defects & Genetic Diseases, Children & Youth, Children & Youth Services, Health, International, International Development

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 untreated clefts live in isolation, but more importantly, have difficulty eating, breathing, hearing, and speaking. Cleft repair surgery is simple, and the transformation is immediate. Our sustainable model provides training, funding, and resources to empower local doctors in 85+ developing countries to provide 100%-free cleft repair surgery and comprehensive cleft care in their own 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. 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: one child received cleft surgery every five minutes.

Geographic areas served: 85+ of the world's poorest countries

Programs: Globally, 1 in every 700 children is born with a cleft. While surgery can take as little as 45 minutes and costs as little as $250, it is out of reach for many in the developing world. Smile Train is an international children’s charity that provides 100%-free cleft repair surgery and comprehensive cleft care to children in 85+ developing countries. Our sustainable model empowers local doctors to provide cleft care in their own communities. Most children who are born with a cleft lip and/or palate develop normal speech once their palate is closed, but a significant amount will need further surgery or speech therapy. Communication problems that are addressed include language delay, articulation problems, and hypernasality. In the developed world, cleft repair is typically provided by multidisciplinary cleft/craniofacial teams comprised of professionals from a variety of healthcare backgrounds including surgeons and orthodontists who work on the child’s total rehabilitation. Smile Train provides vital dental and orthodontic treatment in countries where they are available. Smile Train provides essential free training and education to cleft surgeons and related medical professionals around the world. Since 1999, we have provided more than 66,000 free scholarships, surgical training resources, workshops, and symposiums for doctors and medical professionals from 140+ countries. Smile Train provides financial support that has been used for a wide range of applications, including new operating rooms, cleft surgical instruments and supplies like scalpels and sutures, crucial safety equipment like pulse oximeters, and much more. All of these investments make not only a significant number of incremental surgeries possible, but also make these surgeries safer and of higher quality. Smile Train has played an integral role in developing some of the most cutting-edge advances in cleft care, including the award-winning Virtual Surgery Simulator, which makes complex cleft surgical techniques seem simple to understand, and our Speech Therapy App, which helps children gain confidence in their verbal abilities in their own language. Smile Train's Medical Advisory Board (MAB) is comprised of the best and brightest cleft experts in the world, from maxillofacial surgeons to anesthesiologists to speech pathologists. The MAB compiles information for Smile Train to disseminate in an effort to raise awareness and change public attitudes about clefts. Smile Train is active in launching patient outreach campaigns in an effort to reach patients even in the most remote of areas. These include radio advertisements and programs, fliers, print advertising in local newspapers (with pictures so that even people who are unable to read can be reached), collaborations with other organizations for patient referrals, SMS/text message alerts, and much more. Some of our patients are so malnourished they are not healthy enough to receive surgery. In these cases, they are provided with food for one to two weeks before surgery. We also have patients that are so poor they have no money to get home after surgery. We have special programs that give small stipends to the poorest of the poor that allows them to receive their cleft treatments.

Community Stories

304 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

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.

Donor

Rating: 5

"it is through people like this and acts of charity, that hope and the love of God in good and generous people shines in this world", God Bless!.

Ed C.3

Donor

Rating: 5

Smile Train is pure good in this world. They change a child's life forever. That child can join in, have friends, get married, and be loved without shame.
The best thing I think is that they train surgeons in other countries how to perform the operation, so they can do it independently. "Give a man a fish and he eats for a day. Teach a man to fish and he eats for a lifetime!"

Nancy Kay P.

Donor

Rating: 5

I watched a documentary on Smile Train & I was hooked. I just raised the money for one child & I intend to keep going to help as many as I can. Thank you for all you do for these little gifts from God. They are so blessed to have you to help them.

Review from Guidestar

Donor

Rating: 5

Thank you for your great ministry. I'm proud to donate to your organization. thank you.

Donor

Rating: 5

SmileTrain.org is an established charitable organization, which helps finance cleft surgeries for children from the impoverished, third world countries. I have been been a donor here for over a year. Since I am on a fixed income, I try to make a donation every two months. I have seen SmileTrain on TV inasmuch as on social media. It is a truly great charity that pays for great cause: cleft lip surgeries for children, who otherwise would not have been able to afford such surgery. One surgery costs $250 dollars, and SmileTrain welcomes gifts in any amounts.

Donor

Rating: 5

This organization does some great work in the world giving children a chance to have normal lives by correcting facial birth defects. They have the lowest overhead and over 90% of the money donated goes directly to the surgical costs for the children. I have been giving to this organization for 15 years, and would like to be able to pay for every child in the world that needs cleft surgery. Hopefully through nutritional awareness about folic acid one day there will be no children needing this surgery. In the meantime, it is so important that we give these children a chance by helping Smile Train perform these very necessary surgeries. Thank You Smile Train for doing such beautiful work in the world!!!!!!!!!!

1

Donor

Rating: 5

Joy our 13 year old daughter asked me to donate to smile train without telling anyone even anyone in our family. It was a short time after that i received a letter thanking us for the donation.the letter arrived on the same day as Joy's funeral. Joy was knocked off her bike and killed. I know on this her birthday (her 20th) she will be so happy i am donating on her behalf. Such a caring girl she felt the pain of others and wanted to help and that is why she chose such a worthwhile charity Smile Train to give her pocket money to. Thank you for giving Joy a smile and yes joy . Her dad Paul Soffe

Donor

Rating: 5

My husband and I have been supporters of Smile Train for a few years. We love this organization and get inspired to continue our support by looking at the before and after pictures and by reading the stories of families and doctors that are involved in these life changing surgeries.

Karen G.1

Donor

Rating: 5

It is so heartwarming to see what just a small amount of $$ can do. I don't have alot to give, but at $250 to give a child surgery, it doesn't take long to realize how much good it actually does to donate $20 or $30. Thanks to these fearless, compassionate people who go out in to the world to do what they can to make a child's life better, thereby making the world a better place.

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I believe that one of the best things a person can do for another is showing them how to have self esteem. One appearance is one of those factors that gives us this. Therefore the service Smile Train Inc provides is in my opinion invaluable.

Donor

Rating: 5

I have been giving to Smile Train for years. I am so excited that this charity gives children literally a new start on life. I love receiving all the before and after photos of children that my donations are helping.

Donor

Rating: 5

I've heard nothing but good things about the way they conduct business and about their integrity and the cause could not be more important.

Donor

Rating: 5

It's a charity that makes a difference! No other charity has so many dedicated volunteers worldwide.

Donor

Rating: 5

What a wonderful way to remember a loved one who has passed by putting a beautiful smile on a child's face...

Donor

Rating: 5

A friend who is an anesthesiologist donates her time each year to help.

Donor

Rating: 5

This charity has a very successful record while keeping its overhead costs low. A simple operation changes a child's life completely. A great cause to give to....

Donor

Rating: 5

What a incredible difference Smile Train is making for these beautiful children.

Donor

Rating: 4

I hope many more people will be inspired to donate to this worthy cause.

Donor

Rating: 5

Can't explain it. there's lots of charities to give to, but the pictures of those kids just get to me.
Also, Smile Train has an excellent reputation as to delivering the goods

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Although we make a modest living as a military family we have traveled the world and have seen first hand that there are less fortunate ones. So we have chosen to share our blessings with several worthy organization such as yours. Thank you for all you do. God Bless