Operation Smile is helping children all around the world to smile through raising money for cleft palate surgeries. This CVHS club’s mission is to raise awareness about the issue of cleft palates in developing countries and to help fundraise for their surgeries.
Cleft palates occur when a child is born with an upper lip connected to the roof of the mouth. One in every 700 children is born with a cleft palate, so it is a common and prevalent condition. Children with cleft palates have an impaired voice, missing teeth, and are unable to eat and drink normally, having to be fed using a tube.
“Kids can get bullied at school and even alienated in their community for having a cleft palate, so being able to afford the surgery completely changes the child’s life,” said club president senior Adora Vaz.
During Operation Smile meetings, members discuss and plan their next fundraising events and club projects. When they aren’t fundraising, club members are participating in community service events such as writing cards to the local hospitals and decorating care packages for the soup kitchen. The club meets on Zoom every Monday at 2 p.m.
Operation Smile tries to plan a fundraiser every two or three months, but the coronavirus has made it difficult to find ways to have safe events. Despite the obstacles, members have found ways to successfully continue raising money. Currently, they are selling $12 t-shirts with three different artistic designs on them available. Club officer and artist senior Aisha Gilbert has designed the prints for each shirt herself. The proceeds from the t-shirts all go directly to cleft palate surgeries. The club is promoting and selling these shirts through its Instagram account (@operationsmilecv).
If you are interested in joining the fundraising effort to help change these children’s lives, community service, or joining a club to meet some new people, then Operation Smile is for you!