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Volunteering Oportunities

Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, Children & Youth Services, Health, Health Care, International, International Development, Surgical Specialties

Mission: Throughout the world, Operation Smile volunteers repair childhood facial deformities while building public and private partnerships that advocate for sustainable healthcare systems for children and families. Together, we create smiles, change lives, heal humanity.

Results: In our 27 years, Operation Smile has performed over 130,000 safe surgeries for children born with facial deformities in developing countries. World class medical professionals volunteer their time and services to help us reach the hundreds of thousands of children still waiting for this life transforming surgery.

Geographic areas served: 56 Countries

Community Stories

16 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters



Rating: 3

I have read the reviews, and it seems to me that the problem is the constant robo calls after you get involved so what i will do is send a money order to them and not care about the tax form 5o1 c this way they cant bother me and i can give at my discretion



Rating: 1

I used to donate to this charity. However, after reading so many reviews, I have come to the conclusion that most charities have become "profitable enterprises", even though they claim "non-profit 503" IRS slogans. When you do the math of how much money these "non-profit" organization raise through contributions, and how they "spend it" on the field, it really makes one think. Yes. there is the issue of the organization's "expenses", and the "salaries" for the administrative staff. However, what it's most discerning, it's the "salaries" that the top CEO, or COO, or President of the "organization" is making. Then, I am sure that the organization has to spend hundreds of dollars, or millions of dollars on the Legal Team to be able to skirt around the rules of the IRS and State Laws of "non-profit" interests. Then, there are the politics of the "Top" managers. Many years ago, "Smile Train" and "Operation Smile" were one so called "non-profit" organization. Then, the top people couldn't agree on their "objective politics", and they decided to part ways. In the end, they both are two agencies or non-profit CORPORATIONS requesting "donations" for the same objective: "Helping" children with Cleft Deformities. However, upon further investigation, and much research, these two "NON-PROFIT" CORPORATIONS: "Operation Smile" and "Smile Train" seem to outsource their mission to "doctors in the target country to do the job for these two CORPORATIONS", but these doctors don't always get "paid the $240 or $250" per operation. Sometimes these doctors have to go back-and-forth to get remunerated for their services. It's sad that these two named NON-PROFIT CORPORATIONS use the pictures of children with cleft deformities in order to raise millions and millions of dollars a year so that their top management can live in luxury at the expense of the "good-hearted donors" who have to work hard to earn their well deserved salary for themselves and support their families. I used to donate to Smile Train and Operation Smile, but have ceased doing so. Every time I get one of their fundraising envelopes, I simply write in BIG LETTERS: RETURN TO SENDER, and throw it in the mail box.



Rating: 1

In September 2014, I committed to monthly donation withdrawals from my checking account to Operation Smile for a 12-month period. I just learned Operation Smile has continued to make monthly withdrawals from my checking account without my consent for an additional two months. When I contacted them today to get this corrected, I was told they have "no way of knowing it was for 12-months only!" WRONG ANSWER. The person on the other end said she could "cancel" withdrawals beginning in December. I said this was not acceptable-I want immediate cancellation, and CREDIT to my checking account for the two unapproved withdrawals. Needless to say, I will never support this organization in the future, and will steer friends and family away, also. VERY disappointing.



Rating: 2

I donated one time (paid for one surgery) about 2 years ago and since then I have been harassed with phone solicitation on a frequent basis; sometimes daily phone calls from multiple people. I also receive regular mailings. I don't mind getting mailings but I do mind the harassing phone calls I received. I finally had to get ugly with one solicitor and demanded to be taken off the list. Donating is a great thing to do; helping others who don't have the means to help themselves but when you are harassed on a daily basis it becomes clear this charity has lost it's focus and only appears money hungry. I won't donate to them again.



Rating: 1

Keep an eye over your bank account because this guys had taken extra mony from mine with out permission.



Rating: 1

WORST charity ever, what a bunch of crooks and they now keep calling me EVERY SINGLE DAY!!! I will never, ever donate here again and when I looked them up online, what a surprise to find this:


DON'T use your emotions to donate to a cause, you will always lose and the people who need it most never get what they need.

Terrible experience!



Rating: 4

As of six months ago, their annual reports on their website shows 73.2% of funds went to programs, 20.6% to fundraising, 6.2% for administration. Not sure where the negative press is coming from . . . also, any reason management doesn't change the practice of calling those who donate? If this has changed, there needs to be a statement to this effect on this site so as not to dissuade those interested in contributing.



Rating: 1

If you don't mind be barraged by phone calls by solicitors after you donate wanting to bleed every cent from you, give. If you value your privacy and abhor robot calls, don't give. Very bad ratio of money donated and what actually goes to the kids. If you do give don't give them your real phone number. Great idea for a charity, but poorly run.



Rating: 1

I saw a TV story about Operation Smile and was moved to make a handsome donation. I then went to check them out but they are not rated. I looked at their IRS Form 990 for 2011 and was shocked by the numbers. In 2011 they collected $48mill. Of this they spent $3mill (6.25%) on grants. The rest went to Salaries - $7.7mill (16%); Office expenses - $6.4mill (13.3%); Travel - $4mill (8.3%); Fund Raising - $3.2mill (6.6%); "Other" (presumably also fund-raising related) - $2.3mill (4.8%). Judge for yourself. I would not donate an additional penny until their mission-related spending is above 80% of revenues not 6%! Besides, like other reviewers my telephone doesn't stop ringing to the point that this line has become useless.



Rating: 1

Wife and I donated last year's tax refund to Operations Smile based on the worked they appeared to be doing and had planned to do so every year in the future but immediately regretted our decision to do so. Whatever the merits of their work in the field we immediately found ourselves in the midst of an avalanche of robo calls from every imaginable charity which are not covered by the Do Not Call list regulations and has left us with no recourse but to terminate our land-line service at the end of this month to put an end to the 10 to 15 calls a day, yes a day, that we've been receiving since our donation. This in addition to the small mountain of wasteful daily mailings we receive from these charities including Operation Smile the totality of which certainly qualifies as a small environmental catastrophe. They clearly sold our information as part of a donors list without any regard as to the impact and the material cost alone of the mailings from Operation Smiles would seem leave us hard pressed to imagine much if any actual care being delivered with even our sizable donation.