Not long ago, I was asked to speak about Operation Smile and one of the companies that supports this charity. I'd heard of Operation Smile, but had never taken the time to look into the services they actually provided. After heading to their website and learning more about it, I'm happy to share their mission with you.
Here are a few Q&As right from their website...
"What is a cleft lip and what is a cleft palate?
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 lip may be accompanied by an opening in the bones of the upper jaw and/or the upper gum. 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 cleft lip and cleft palate can occur on one side or both sides. A child can suffer from a cleft lip, a cleft palate or both."
"Does a cleft lip or cleft palate cause problems for a child?
Ear disease and dental problems occur frequently, as do problems with proper speech development. Children who suffer from a cleft lip and/or cleft palate may have difficulty eating. To address these issues, a child and family may work with a team of specialists — a pediatrician, a plastic surgeon, dental specialists, an otolaryngologist (ear, nose and throat specialist), a speech-language pathologist and audiologist, a geneticist and a psychologist/social worker."
"How frequently do cleft lips and cleft palates occur?
Cleft lips and cleft palates occur in approximately 1 per 500-700 births, the ratio varying considerably across geographic areas or ethnic groupings. (Source: World Health Organization International Collaborative Research on Craniofacial Anomalies)"
According to their site, every three minutes a child is born with a cleft lip. Operation Smile steps in and offers an option, something many of these children have yet to been given. In their thirty years, they've sent over 5,000 medical volunteers from 80 countries into some of the darkest, most hidden places to perform corrective surgery and educate families on this condition. Children that were once shunned because of their deformity are offered hope. Children whose deformity prevented normal living, eating, drinking, and smiling, now have the opportunity to eat without struggle and pain, and to smile without hiding their face. Interesting in learning more? Watch the video above, then visit their site at OperationSmile.org.
A company that has partnered with Operation Smile is Campus Book Rentals. They've got a pretty cool program going on now called RentBack, a new initiative that allows students to rent the textbooks they own to other students... which is awesome because it makes them 2-4x more money compared to what they'd make through buyback options! It wasn't that long ago that I was in college and buying and selling back textbooks each semester was something I dreaded! With Campus Book Rentals, not only can you rent the books you need at a much lower cost, you can rent out your textbooks to other students and make money! Not only do they offer free shipping both ways, flexible renting periods, and the freedom to highlight, but they also donate to Operation Smile with each textbook they rent! Pretty cool, huh? Interested in how RentBack works? Watch this video!
Have you ever heard of Operation Smile?