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Operation Smile Info


Operation Smile's mission is, “Mobilizing a world of generous hearts to heal children's smiles and transform lives across the globe.”

Operation Smile Fact Sheet -  Changing Lives One Smile At Time!

Founded in 1982, Operation Smile is a worldwide children’s medical charity headquartered in Norfolk, Virginia whose network of global volunteers are dedicated to helping improve the health and lives of children and young adults. Since its founding, Operation Smile has treated more than 145,000 children born with cleft lips, cleft palates and other facial deformities, and the organization has a presence in more than 50 countries.

Each year around the world, more than 200,000 children are born with a cleft lip and/or cleft palate, and are often unable to eat, speak, socialize or smile. With the help of medical volunteers and generous donations, Operation Smile provides free surgeries to children worldwide to heal smiles. For updates on Operation Smile’s global efforts, visit the daily blogs on www.operationsmile.org, follow Operation Smile on Twitter, and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/operationsmile.

Operation Smile was founded by Dr. William P. Magee Jr. a plastic surgeon, and his wife, Kathleen, a nurse and clinical social worker. In 1982, the Magee’s traveled to the Philippines with a group of medical volunteers to repair children's cleft lips and cleft palates. They discovered hundreds of children ravaged by deformities, and although they helped many children, the volunteers were forced to turn away the majority of those who sought help. The Magee’s saw the need and Operation Smile was born. In addition to contributing free medical treatment, Operation Smile trains local medical professionals in its partner countries and leaves behind crucial equipment to lay the groundwork for long-term self-sufficiency.

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