Operation Smile is a charity organization for children – donate non profit
Operation Smile is a charity organization for children – donate non profit

December 3, 2014

A Time of Gratitude

Devin Wilson , Operation Smile Volunteer

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This is a time of year to be thankful. To celebrate what we have and celebrate our friends and loved ones.

These feelings of gratitude overcome me daily, especially when I volunteer with Operation Smile. A few weeks ago, I volunteered with Operation Smile in Guatemala and watched as a medical team came together to help so many children whose lives will be forever changed.

I have been so fortunate to travel with Operation Smile all around the world. To see the power and the impact of a team of volunteers from all the corners of the globe have on children they’ve never met before. To see the initial guiding strings first arrive to gather information and make partnerships.

To watch the details and the supplies sorted before the international team of volunteers arrive is truly incredible. Really so much work has already been done before we hit the ground. Once the team arrives, the patterns start to take place.

Each individual becomes far greater than themselves with the partnership of the team. Alone, none of us could make a huge impact, but together we change hundreds if not thousands of lives if every country we visit.

We leave behind families made whole again. We give children the chance to have a childhood. More than anything, we inspire hope.

Everyone I’ve met through Operation Smile has become like a family, so full of love and inspiration. People who are willing to sacrifice and work so hard for others generally love their lives and the world around them.

This makes the act of giving so rejuvenating and inspiring that going on missions becomes almost necessary. I can think of no greater way to travel and see the world than to serve the communities you visit. I’m in love with trying to make the world a better place and searching for the beauty in the world.

A patient in Guatemala wrote a quote on the wall that said, “If you keep searching for all the beauty in the world eventually you will become it.” Well, I don’t expect to become it, but it is an honor just to know and understand it.

Tags:   Our Blog, Volunteer Stories, From the Field, Latin America & Caribbean