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.
I consider it a privilege to support this non profit whose mission is to repair cleft lips or palates on a global basis. Prior to becoming a supporter in 2012, I viewed this condition as purely medical, however the Smile Train has helped me to understand how the work of it's doctors is invaluable in helping some cultures to overcome ignorance and superstition towards this condition. Without a doubt, this group has changed for the better many thousands of lives, and it operates in a very efficient manner. Rest assured I will continue to support this wonderful organization. Henry Halaiko Osprey, Fl. USA
My brother was born in 1948 with a cleft palate & there was no SMILE TRAIN to help out. I have heard of some of the work they do & I think it's wonderful. Even though I can't make large donations, I do support them monthly & hope I can continue to do so for a long time.
I know for a fact that Smile Train is a reputable and dependable non profit. Once, a few years ago, I found out about a little girl in an orphanage in China who needed cleft surgery. A young friend of mine was volunteering there and I heard about this child through her. I decided to take a wild chance and contact Smile Train, Inc. because I'd donated to them for a while and wondered how they found out about the children they served. They wrote back and asked for the pertinent information concerning this child and I was able to find out all the details which I sent to them. To make a long, but wonderful, story shorter this little girl did receive her surgery from the doctors serving Smile Train, Inc. I'll always be grateful and amazed by that experience!
We actively support a number of charities for the benefit of children worldwide. We became aware of Smile Train and have been contributing regularly on a monthly plan since 2009. The services provided to the children with cleft problems is so special, and such a positive life changing experience for those fortunate enough to receive them. Smile Train's mission is unique and has a clear and direct impact on those it serves. It is very satisfying to be a contributing participant, and also to know that a high percentage of our support goes directly to mission services and not overhead. If we could support only one charity of this nature, it would be Smile Train. Larry and Danell Martin
Smile Train is 1 of my top 3 non-profits to support. Tangible results in a short amount of time. It's a "feel good" non-profit that changes the lives of the most vulnerable and gives them an opportunity to survive. Smile Train provides opportunities to double or triple your monetary impact and provides photos of the smiling faces of those who have been helped by compassionate brigades of doctors and nurses.
These selfless doctors and aids provide an essential service. Lives are transformed, not just faces.
My brother now deceased brought Smile Train to my attention. Now every year I donate as this organization makes such a difference in the lives of so many children. Don't take my word for it go to there web site and look for yourself and see the remarkable work they do
From Chicago to Mexico
Graham Elliot Takes a Journey of Smiles to Visit Smile Train’s Local Programs in Mexico
I remember like it was yesterday… I arrived in Mexico City on my Journey of Smiles hosted by Smile Train (smiletrain.org), the world’s largest cleft charity, and was greeted by the most heartwarming welcoming party imaginable; a choral group of seven children, all of who had undergone surgery to repair a cleft lip or palate. I learned that not only did the singing boost the children's sense of self-esteem, but it also acted as a form of speech therapy that the kids actually enjoyed doing.
After the joyous singing and dancing came to end, a group of us drove out of the city to visit with Jasmine, a seventeen-year-old single mother of two. The newest addition to her family, a six-week-old baby boy name Ivan, was born with a cleft lip and palate. This was not caught during her routine ultrasound so it came as a total surprise, leaving Jasmine wondering what to do or where to even start.
At that very moment all I could think about was my son Conrad who was born with a bilateral cleft lip. My wife Allie and I were also caught off guard as we knew of nobody in our family that was born with a cleft. Our doctor at that time mentioned that a bilateral cleft could be indicative of Down syndrome, so we didn’t know what to expect or prepare for. Although we sympathized greatly with Ivan’s mother considering our similar situation, we reassured her that everything was going to be fine because she was in good hands with Smile Train. We even showed before and after photos of Conrad's surgery so she could get a sense of what to expect.
We're happy to say, little Ivan has received his first surgery. Allie and I are hoping to make it back down to Mexico City to assist in any way and be there for support. It's safe to say that Ivan will need some additional surgeries, but with Smile Train's outreach and ability to create sustainable ways to repair clefts, he's most certainly set up for success.
It was great to see firsthand that Smile Train is there to help turn those dreams into a reality. I am happy that I was also able to share my story with one of Smile Train’s patients while in Mexico, giving them comfort in knowing that they are not alone. All parents want the same thing for their children – a long, happy and healthy life.
(Photo Credit: Baby Ivan and me just after I finished giving him his midday bottle.)
Review from #MyGivingStory
I have chose this charity as it's a life changing operation which is simple. I was lucky to have free surgery in the UK after being born with a cleft lip and palate ,but so many children are left in isolation with untreated clefts.
The operation gives a immediate transformation and children see their smile for the first time. I am pleased to say I am supporting this charity fundraising by taking part in a event locally in Cornwall near lands end. Looking forward to giving the children the power to smile.