Dirty Car? Let us clean it up! Have your car washed while also helping the children smile!
This Sunday, October 28th, members of the Wilton High School club "Operation Smile" will be stationed at the "Operation Smile" carwash, which will be located at the Wilton Congregational Church from 12:30pm until 5:30pm. Please come out and show your support, and join us in raising awareness about Operation Smile's important mission!
What Is "Operation Smile"?
According to Operation Smile's official website, every 3 minutes a child is born with an orofacial cleft. This kind of birth defect, usually seen in the form of a cleft lip or cleft palate, is actually a very common problem. In fact, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), orofacial defects are one of the most common birth defects in the United States. However, while in the U.S. most cleft conditions are treated in the early stages of life, in areas of countries like India and Cambodia, because of financial difficulty and lack of proper medical care, often times this surgery may not be feasible. This is where Operation Smile comes into play.
For those of you who don't know, Operation Smile is a children's charity, founded to treat underprivileged children and young adults suffering from an orofacial cleft. Because of this major health concern, children affected are often left unable to eat, speak, and, most importantly, smile. In addition, because of their appearance and inability to socialize, many times those affected are shunned from society. However, because of the free facial reconstruction surgeries provided by Operation Smile, children are given something so crucial, yet something so many take for granted these days: the gift of a smile.
Because of the efforts of Operation Smile and its volunteers, these children are given a chance to lead a normal life. Since the founding of this charity in 1982, Operation Smile has raised enough money to perform facial reconstruction surgeries on over 200,000 underprivileged children in over 60 countries. Because of Operation Smile, families are given the opportunity to help their child, an opportunity that might not have been possible otherwise. This surgery, while only lasting around 45 minutes, can lead to a lifetime of happiness.
What Does Wilton High School's "Operation Smile" Club Do?
Although Operation Smile is a huge charity, growing larger and larger every year, unfortunately there is currently still not enough money available to treat all children seeking the care provided by this organization. Out of the over 3.5 million total children evaluated for surgery since the start of this charity, there were only about 200,000 lucky boys and girls picked for this special medical procedure. However, the limited amount of children chosen for this surgery was not limited simply because Operation Smile did not care. Children were turned away not because Operation Smile didn’t want to help everyone, but because it simply didn't have the funds to do so. The answer to decreasing the amount of children turned away? Awareness. This is where Wilton High School’s Operation Smile Club comes into play. The goal of our club is not only to raise money, but also to raise awareness about this major issue, which still affects so many children today.
An avid member of the Operation Smile club since my freshman year at Wilton High School, throughout the past 4 years I have seen this club go through countless bake sales, t-shirt sales, car washes, event fundraisers and presentations. Throughout these 4 years, I have also witnessed the extreme passion and ardor demonstrated by each and every member of this club. As a senior, and as the current Vice President of Operation Smile at Wilton High School, I am proud to say that by the end of this year we will have raised in total approximately $8,000 over the past 4 years, which is equal to around 34 smiles. In the future, I would love to see this passion shown in not only club members, but also in both children and adults around town. Please help spread the word not only about our carwash on Sunday, but also about the efforts of Operation Smile.
What Can I Do To Help?
You can make a difference. It only takes about $240 to perform this life-altering surgery. In addition to stopping by our car wash this Sunday, please stay connected, and make sure to look for updates concerning our club's upcoming fundraisers and events.
Once again, please help us help the children, and stop by the Operation Smile carwash fundraiser this Sunday, October 28th, from 12:30pm to 5:30pm. And remember, with the extremely low cost of the surgery, in Operation Smile's case, every penny truly does count!
Special thanks to the editor of Wilton Patch, Jaimie Cura, and Wilton Patch's "blogging guru" Leslie Yager, who helped me get this blog started!