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What is the Smile Train

The Smile Train: A Charity that changes lives!

While thumbing through a magazine last week I came across an ad for the smile train, an ad I am sure you are familiar with. The ad features children with cleft palates who are severely disfigured. Instead of turning the page as I normally did, I ripped it out and jumped online.

Cleft lip and palate are the result of a woman not getting enough vitamins and minerals during pregnancy. It is important that women eat a diet rich in fruits, vegetables and food fortified with folic acid. Sadly, in many third world countries women are too poor to get the proper nutrients during pregnancy. Sadder yet, these women are unable to provide the correct medical care for children born with cleft lip and palate.

Many times, children born with cleft are abandoned or even killed because they are considered a curse. Currently, there are an estimated 3 million children with cleft lip and palate.

According to The Smile Train website, clefts are a big problem in developing countries causing many children to be unable to talk or even eat properly. Because of their disfigurement, they are often unable to attend school or get jobs later in life.

The Smile Train is a unique charity because 100% of your donation goes directly to the children with cleft lip and palate. All overhead costs in the organization come from start up grants from founding supporters.

The Smile Train is also unique because of instead of focusing on numerous problems, they direct their attention at only one: cleft lip and palate. The Smile Train provides free surgery and follow up care for children with cleft lip and palate and they also provide free training for medical professionals in regards to cleft lip and palate.

The Smile Train has the lowest cost per charity of any cleft charity and has the best safety record of any cleft charity.

At time of publishing, The Smile Train has provided free surgery for 341,965 children in 75 countries.

Cleft surgery is a simple surgery normally performed in less than one hour for a mere $250.

If you would like to donate to The Smile Train, please go to www.thesmiletrain.org You can make a one-time donation to cover surgery, medication, sutures, or a general cash donation. The Smile Train also offers employee matching, monthly donation, tribute donations in memory of loved ones, and planned giving to incorporate into your retirement or life insurance policy.

Your donation can literally change a child’s life. Please donate now.