Wednesday, January 25, 2017

2016 Accomplishments in International Outreach

Our GFWC Partner for International Outreach is Operation Smile

Operation Smile was founded in 1982 when Dr. William (Bill) P. Magee, Jr., a plastic surgeon, and his wife, Kathleen (Kathy), a nurse and clinical social worker, traveled to the Philippines with a group of medical volunteers to repair children's cleft lips and cleft palates.
What they found was overwhelming. "People pushed their babies at us." recalls Kathy. "They tugged at our sleeves with tears in their eyes and begged us to help their children." In Naga City, approximately 300 families arrived hoping their children would receive surgery, but the team could only treat 40 children. As they prepared to leave, the Magees made a promise they would return to help more children.
They began soliciting donations of surgical equipment and supplies from manufacturers, threw themselves into grassroots fundraising and assembled a volunteer team of 18 doctors, nurses and technicians for their own medical mission to the Philippines.  They helped approximately 100 more patients, but again, hundreds still waited.

They saw the need and Operation Smile was born.

For the last several years our club has collaborated with volunteers from the Church of Jesus Christ and Latter-day Saints to sew "smile" dolls, surgery gowns, armbands, no-sew blankets.  In 2016 together we completed 40 dolls, 70 gowns, 90 armbands, 15 blankets, and 3 quilts that we shipped with 47 toys to Operation Smile headquarters and donated funds for 2 surgeries.

On January 20, 2017, we held our 2017 Operation Smile Day and will be reporting its results soon.

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