Imagine a child with a cleft lip or cleft palate that is afraid to smile. Imagine that child looking into the mirror and wondering why their mouth looks different than their friends’ mouths. Operation Smile is an organization that aims to heal children’s smiles. Operation Smile provides free surgeries for children with cleft lips and cleft palates. Volunteers have treated more than 150,000 children since its founding in 1982. Read on to find out more about this wonderful cause.
What’s A Cleft Lip or Cleft Palate?
Over 200,000 children are born with a cleft lip or cleft palate each year, according to the organization’s website. A cleft is an opening in the lip, the roof of the mouth or the soft tissue in the back of the mouth. A cleft palate occurs when the two sides of a palate do not join together, resulting in an opening in the roof of the mouth. A child can suffer from a either a cleft lip, cleft palate or both. These are congenital defects that occur in embryonic development and while the cause is unknown, some have linked it to maternal illness, drugs or malnutrition. Cleft lips and cleft palates can cause ear disease, dental problems and impedes proper speech development. These facial deformities threaten the child’s quality of life, health, and livelihood. Why should an innocent child be punished? The good news is that these deformities can be repaired through surgery. Unfortunately, not all parents can afford costly surgical procedures. That’s where Operation Smile comes in.
Operation Smile’s Mission
Here is the organization’s mission statement, as posted on their site www.operationsmile.org (link below): Operation Smile mobilizes a world of generous hearts to heal children’s smiles and transform lives across the globe. We believe that all children deserve to live their lives with dignity. And for those suffering from cleft lip, cleft palate or other facial deformities, dignity begins with a smile. Driven by our universal compassion for children, we work worldwide to repair childhood facial deformities by delivering safe, effective surgical care directly to patients. The global partnerships we create, the knowledge we share and the infrastructure we build leave a legacy that lives well beyond our medical missions, making a lasting difference in our world. Our impact is felt not just through the children we heal, but through the daily transformation of donors, volunteers and staff as we fulfill our shared vision and see immediate, life-changing results.
What Makes Operation Smile the Best
Operation Smile has a presence in over 50 countries in the world, giving free surgeries to families in need, with the help of thousands of volunteers and donors. Providing a free 45-minute surgery to a family with a child who suffers from cleft lip or cleft palate is a life-changing event that allows shy children to grow into productive, confident and happy adults. If you want to be a part of this amazing organization, please visit the site (link below) and give your time and/or donations
Brooke Burke Teams up With Oral B
Oral-B has teamed up with ModernMom’s very own Brooke Burke to raise money and awareness for Operation Smile. This fall, Oral-B Premium Power toothbrushes will donate $25,000 to the organization. “I am very excited to team up with Oral-B for a great cause,” Brooke said.