In honor of world smile day last Friday, we shared the story of a young man named Enok on our Facebook page. For 25 years, Enok lived in pain and isolation. He was tormented and mocked because of his severe cleft lip. With the help of Operation Smile™, it’s partners, and volunteers, Enok received the gift of a smile.
This is his story.
We share Enok’s smile with you today to bring awareness to the critical situation faced by billions worldwide who continue to suffer from a cleft lip or palate due to a lack of access to safe surgical care. Every three minutes another child is born with this condition, resulting in malnourishment, speech impediments, and social stigma.
The majority of people who lack access to safe surgical care are often the poorest in their countries, excluded from care due to economic and social barriers and residing in remote locations far from surgical sites. The truth is, more people die each year from the lack of access to safe surgery than from AIDS, tuberculosis, and malaria combined. Through Operation Smile™, safe surgeries are provided to patients with the highest quality of care, based on the highest medical standards, no matter where they live.
Did you know that it only takes $240 USD to perform a single life-changing surgery? (Most of us reading this spend a lot more than that on a regular basis to support our papercrafting hobby!)
Since 2008, Close To My Heart has partnered with Operation Smile™, repairing smiles and reshaping lives, one person at a time. Because we support the mission of this amazing organization, with each new catalog, we design a special stamp set and donate $7 USD of the proceeds from its sales to the efforts of Operation Smile™. By purchasing the My Acrylix® Beautiful Soul stamp set, you can help give a child the gift of a smile.
Additionally, any time you place an order with Close To My Heart you have the option of rounding your order up to the nearest dollar, giving the extra as a donation to Operation Smile™. No matter the size of your contribution, you are making a difference!
There is an overwhelming need for these surgeries. Families will travel together hundreds of miles to an Operation Smile™ mission site, in some cases by foot, and in other cases to multiple sites, to give their child the opportunity to have a surgery. Unfortunately, not everyone who comes to the mission site will get surgery. Surgeries can only be provided to those out of the hundreds of people present who need it most. Most of these people will require multiple surgeries, which means returning the next time Operation Smile™ can fund a mission in their area. Even with medical team volunteers from around the world who donate their time and skills, supplies to perform these surgeries are limited.
With your help, we can remove these financial, geographic, and cultural barriers that are impeding access to safe and well-timed surgeries. Purchase the My Acrylix® Beautiful Soul stamp set, round up your next order for crafting supplies, encourage others to do the same, or simply get on our site and make a donation directly to Operation Smile™.
Together we can continue blessing the lives of these children who need it so much!