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Press Release April 17, 2020

Operation Smile Student Volunteers Deliver Dozens of Donated Lunches to Area Hospitals

As local hospital staff, including maintenance and custodial employees work tirelessly during the ongoing coronavirus outbreak, Operation Smile wants to continue showing its appreciation by donating lunches to those on the frontlines of the COVID-19 pandemic. 
 
“We are supporting local restaurants by purchasing dozens of meals. We are supporting hospital employees by offering them those meals, said Kathy Magee, Co-Founder and President of Operation Smile. “We’ve already donated thousands of masks, gloves and gowns to area hospitals. Serving Smiles is just another way for us to support our community and to say, thank you,” Magee added. 
 
The initiative, Serving Smiles, launches today as Operation Smile student volunteers delivered nearly a hundred lunch meals to employees at Bon Secours DePaul Medical Center in Norfolk and Sentara Princess Anne Hospital in Virginia Beach.  During each delivery, students practiced safety and social distancing. 
 
“Our staff at Sentara Princess Anne Hospital (SPAH) is very appreciative of the generosity and thoughtfulness of the Operation Smile team. This incredible team is putting smiles on our hospital’s clinical care staff with their delicious luncheon surprise! A special thank you from all of us at the SPAH,” said, Paul Gaden, President of Sentara Princess Anne Hospital. 
 
Serving Smiles is a pilot program. Operation Smile is collecting donations for the program with the goal of purchasing and delivering free lunches to area hospitals weekly.  
 
“Never has it been so critical that our local community support one another and partner to meet the COVID-19 challenge together. On behalf of our frontline and non-frontline staff at DePaul Medical Center, we express our deepest gratitude for the outpouring of support displayed by Operation Smile and our local restaurants and food vendors. Your donations have not only fed our bodies but have nourished our minds and lifted our spirits,” said Cindy Segar-Miller, Hospital Administrator for Bon Secours DePaul Medical Center. 


16-year-old Operation Smile student volunteer, Xander Zimmerman help deliver lunches to Bon Secours DePaul Medical Center. “I want to step-up and lend a hand. This is a way to show appreciation because every kind gesture matters,” said Zimmerman. 
 
If you’re interested in donating to the Serving Smiles program, please go to https://bit.ly/osservingsmiles. 
 
About Operation Smile: Operation Smile has provided hundreds of thousands of safe surgeries for those born with cleft lip and cleft palate. With more than three decades of expertise, Operation Smile creates solutions that deliver free surgery to people where it’s needed most. As one of the largest medical volunteer-based nonprofits, Operation Smile has mobilized thousands of medical volunteers from a wide range of medical specialties from more than 80 countries. Operation Smile engages public-private partnerships to advance health care delivery, train local medical professionals to provide surgical care for patients in their communities, donate crucial medical equipment and supplies, and increase access to surgical care so that everyone living with cleft is treated. Visit operationsmile.org, find us on Facebook or follow us on Instagram and Twitter.  
 

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