August 27th, 2008

CotM: Smile Train

photo credit: Wynona R

You’ve seen them on TV. You squirm a little when their pictures appear, the awkward smiles making you feel a little uneasy. You change the channel to find something more pleasing to look at.

I’ve done it before as well.

I’m referring to children who have improperly developed clefts. While cleft palates are a large problem, it’s the cleft lips that are so visible to others. Smile Train exists to provide affordable and accessible surgery to children throughout the world who suffer from this problem. For around $250 per surgery, volunteer doctors are able to repair this disfigurement and put the child on the fast track to better health, social acceptance, and opportunity.

Additionally, the organization assists local doctors in acquiring the equipment and skills necessary to perform these surgeries for children in their area. In their eight and a half years of doing business, Smile Train has provided free cleft surgery for over 340,000 children.

My wife and I are considering this for a possible Christmas gift later this year. What better way to celebrate Christ’s love and life than by using our resources to bless another person’s life? I’d take that over a video game system or iPod in a heartbeat.

So next time you see these kids on TV, don’t change the channel—instead, think about what you can do to help the problem and make a difference. And don’t forget to be grateful for your smile! 🙂

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3 Responses to “CotM: Smile Train”

  1. Smile Train
    August 28, 2008 at 6:22 am #

    Hello from Smile Train,

    Thank you for supporting Smile Train through your blog. Your passion and commitment to helping these poor children around the world shows the dedication that inspires us to work even harder to help provide even more free cleft surgeries.

    What a better way to celebrate the holiday season than to start the new year knowing there are more smiling children around you in the world. For an average of $250 and as little as 45 minutes, these poor kids get not just a new smile, but a second chance at life. Like you said, we have completed over 340,000 surgeries in 75 of the world’s poorest nations. This year alone we will have performed over 110,000 surgeries!

    And the numbers just keep growing…with support like yours!

    Thanks again, and dont hesitate to contact me with any questions or if you need anything. Best

    Alex Judd
    Donor Relations Associate

  2. Ballplayer
    August 29, 2008 at 9:56 am #

    What a classy organization. Congratulations to them and the doctors who volunteer their time and resources to help these kids. I’ve lived in countries where this is common and It always warms my heart to see people volunteer their time and effort to help these less fortunate, especially when they help the kids. I’m going to talk to my wife about a similar Christmas gift this year. I have five kids, each with perfectly formed lips and palletes. What better way to help them learn to give than this?

  3. Christian
    November 27, 2010 at 9:43 am #

    And the train of smiles keeps on’a rollin.
    This organization is truly a god send for these kids, thank goodness there’s so many people willing to collaborate with them.

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