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2015 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Fresh Start Surgical Gifts

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Volunteering Oportunities

Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Health, Surgical Specialties


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

3 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!


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.


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.