New York, NY — This Holiday Season, as we close the chapter on 2011 and finalize our plans to help even more children with clefts in 2012, we have a lot to be thankful for, most importantly our wonderful supporters that keep Smile Train running. We wanted to take the time to say thank you to everyone who has helped us provide more than 700,000 free cleft surgeries with over 300 more provided every day and increase our follow up care for desperate children and even adults that could never dream of affording it on their own.
In a time of economic uncertainty and political turmoil throughout the world, it is incredible to see so many people from so many countries and diverse backgrounds band together to give children born with clefts new smiles and new lives. School children, retirees, democrats, republicans, famous actors and actresses, waiters and waitresses, leading businesses and those on social security, those who were born with a cleft themselves, those who never knew what a cleft was until they saw an ad in a magazine, and so many more people all helping in whichever way they can to provide free cleft surgery and follow up care to children who can’t afford it. Dismissing dangerous superstitions, turning despair into hope, and providing hundreds of thousands of miracles every year.
Recently, one of our corporate partners sponsored a Smile Train donor dinner in Washington, D.C. to update some of our donors on all of the great work we have done this year and our plans for 2012. We were lucky to have long time supporter former Secretary of State General Colin Powell in attendance. He asked if he could say a few words and we were more than happy to oblige. His words cut to the heart of Smile Train’s mission and why so many people work so hard to help children with clefts as donors, fundraising event volunteers, staff, and partner surgeons, medical staff and social worker volunteers.
“There’s nothing quite like Smile Train…nothing matches the reality of a child who believes he or she has no future, and suddenly Smile Train comes to town. It is the smile and the faces of these children that is the reality of the Smile Train effort and the success of Smile Train. Every child is a gift. Every child should be taken care of. Every child in the world we should want to take care of just as we take care of our own children.
“There is nothing more reflective of the best of humankind than what Smile Train has done and what it represents and what it will represent in the future. My thanks to all of the members of the Smile Train family around the world who are helping so many to a brighter and better future.”
— General Colin Powell
From all of us here at Smile Train, our partners, our patients and their families, Happy Holidays and thank you for helping us change the world — one smile at a time.