See How This Young Entrepreneur is Helping Heal Smiles With Homemade Face Masks

Volunteer Story
Eleven-year-old Sophia Lingeris with her one-of-a-kind face masks. Photo courtesy of Jenna Lingeris.
Eleven-year-old Sophia Lingeris with her one-of-a-kind face masks. Photo courtesy of Jenna Lingeris.

Our promise of improving health and dignity during the COVID-19 pandemic endures. We're helping front-line health workers stay safe, nourished and empowered to better serve their patients by providing life-saving supplies and equipment, as well as remote training to bolster their response. We’re also providing nutritional assistance, hygiene kits and virtual health services to support people and their health needs so they can thrive. If you can, when you can, help us keep our promise to care for children and create hope for tomorrow.

Hoping to create more smiles, raise funds and encourage safety amid the coronavirus pandemic, 11-year-old Sophia Lingeris has found a creative way to accomplish all three.

“I’m tie-dying face masks and selling them,” Sophia said. “All money raised will go to Operation Smile.”

With her colorful, one-of-a-kind masks, Sophia strives to help children from around the world who are affected by cleft and instill a hope in people living within her community who are waiting for brighter days.

And for Sophia, her personal connection to Operation Smile’s mission runs deep.

“I want the money to go to Operation Smile because they help people born with the same condition as my mom,” she said.

Sophia with her mom, Jenna. Photo courtesy of Jenna Lingeris.
Sophia with her mom, Jenna. Photo courtesy of Jenna Lingeris.

Born with a cleft lip and palate, Sophia’s mom, Jenna, has undergone 11 surgeries.

“I began talking to Sophia about my condition when she was 5 years old,” Jenna said. “I’m so proud of her and what she’s doing to support the cleft community.”

Photo courtesy of Jenna Lingeris.
Photo courtesy of Jenna Lingeris.

Inspired by her mother’s story and the stories of people impacted by cleft and the coronavirus, Sophia has no intention of slowing down.

“I’ve had orders from people in Illinois and Florida,” Sophia said. “So far, I’ve sold 200 masks and raised $2,000.”

Sophia describes herself as someone with a kind heart and a creative mind. And she’s confident that with a little bit of color and hope, she can change the world.

“I’ve always enjoyed helping people. It makes me feel good,” Sophia said. “I’m still filling orders. I’m so happy to have support for this effort.”

Become inspired by Sophia's effort to change lives, and help us keep the promise we made to our patients amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Your generous support today means that our teams around the world can help more children tomorrow.

Photo courtesy of Jenna Lingeris.
Photo courtesy of Jenna Lingeris.