I wanted to bring attention to a charity that is dear to my heart. Have you heard of it? Last Friday, on my way down to see my mom, I saw a big truck with the “Operation Smile” logo on its side making a turn. I was so happy when I saw it because I truly love this organization.
Operation Smile is made up of a volunteer medical staff from all over the United States and foreign countries. They travel all over the world to donate their time to operate on children who have cleft lips or mouths. A cleft lip is when the entire upper lip was not developed completely to close. Sometimes a cleft goes beyond the outer lips and is not closed within the mouth which makes it difficult for a child to speak or even talk. Many of these children are taken over several miles with their parents to go visit the clinic when the doctors come to town. There is a long waiting list for this and only a few lucky ones are operated that same day. The children who have been affected by this disformity are teased or even austrasized by family or the community. After the operaton, the children begin a new life and are able to eat, speak and have better self esteem.
A friend of mine who I met when I was 19 years old, had a cleft lip and you could see a very fine surgery line on her upper lips. She was a beautiful girl on the outside, but she told me that if she had not had the operation as a child, her self esteem would have been extremely low. This charity is close to my heart because I absolutely love and adore children and to see them be hurt by their facial deformity just breaks my heart. I am so happy that this type of non-profit organization exists to give children around the world a second chance in whatever they need to better their future. The volunteer time and dedication of the doctors & specialists is incredible. Here is a video of just one of the many children who were affected and treated by Operation Smile. Please go to the link for more information.