What is Operation Smile?

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What is Operation Smile?

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Operation Smile, or Op Smile as we call it, is a worldwide non-profit organization that provides reconstructive surgery to children and young adults who can not afford it. Due to conditions such as cleft lips and palates, these kids die from malnutrition because they are unable to eat certain necessary foods. Not to mention, they are often hidden by their families because they are embarrassed or are forced to cover their faces if they go out in public. Each surgery only costs about $240 and takes about 45 minutes to complete. With such a little amount of money and time, a child’s life is completely turned around. Why did you choose to get involved with Operation Smile?Loyola encouraged me to study abroad when I was a junior. I was very nervous at the thought of living halfway across the world, but I found that I loved traveling and decided that whatever I was going to do from then on was going to involve travel. When I came back to the States, I went online to find international opport

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Operation Smile is a charitable organization founded by plastic surgeon William Magee, and his nurse/social worker wife, Kathleen Magee. On a volunteer mission to the Philippines in 1982, the couple worked to help repair cleft lips and cleft palates of those who did not have access to medical care. The need for these repairs far exceeded what the mission could address. In response to this need, the Magees formed Operation Smile to raise funds and create more missions to countries where access to repair for facial deformities was limited or completely non-existent. Since 1982, Operation Smile has sent medical missions to numerous countries. It has also partnered with countries to teach local surgeons how to repair and care for those with cleft palate and cleft lips. Each year about 10,000 children and young adults have surgery to repair facial defects through the worldwide efforts of Operation Smile. While the base of Operation Smile remains in Virginia, there are several global chapter

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When I finally finished my education I joined a practice in Norfolk, Virginia. A weakness of that practice was the lack of cleft lip/palate and craniofacial work, so I set about developing that. About four years after I had gone into practice I went to the Philippines to operate on children with cleft lips and palates. For quite selfish reasons I chose to go there to perfect my operative skills and take care of children with clefts. What I didnt anticipate was over 250 children being turned away and no one being there to take care of them. In some ways my selfishness led to guilt. So my wife and I gathered a group of our friends to go back to take care of those children. Thats how Operation Smile began. The first mission was incredibleI remember a lady who brought us a gift basket of bananas to say thank you to us. She had brought her daughter, who we had turned away. Despite this she came to give us what she said was the only thing she could, with tears coming down her cheeks. Ultimat

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Operation Smile is a group of volunteers that repair facial abnormalities while building public and private partnerships that advocate for children and families. Groups organize missions to developing nations, such as India, Nicaragua, Panama, Russia, South Africa, and Peru, to provide free craniofacial surgeries to children.

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