The stress our patients face can be overwhelming. Some patients have grown up isolated, shunned and ridiculed because of their cleft condition. Some patients have walked for hours, determined to reach our surgical site. And some are children, who have never seen a doctor before.
Through the generosity of our community volunteers, we are able to help reduce stress and exemplify our compassionate care. Each act of kindness is hugely appreciated by our patients and their families, our medical volunteers and staff worldwide.
How You Can Help
Once you complete your project, please follow our shipping guidelines.
Smile Splints (formerly No-No Armbands) help to keep our patients with cleft palates from pulling at their stitches in the crucial 24 hours following surgery. These comfortable splints are placed on the elbow of the patient, and the tongue depressors inside keep the patient from bending either arm and touching their face or stitches.
After receiving surgery, each child receives a Smile Bag, the perfect gift to cheer up a healing child. Smile Bags are filled with small personal care items as well as toys, stickers and a mirror to see their new smile. We need individuals to collect personal care items and sew cloth Smile Bags.
Quilts, Blankets and Afghans
Volunteers can help craft blankets, sew quilts or knit/crochet afghans. There are a variety of ways to do this, and even those that don't sew can help out! This project is a wonderful way to provide warmth and comfort for our patients worldwide.
Child Life Supplies
Our Child Life Specialists are licensed professionals who ease patient fears and anxieties by explaining and demonstrating every aspect of care. They facilitate therapeutic play and activities, working with parents and act as the child’s and family’s advocate in the potentially confusing world of the hospital.
Operation Smile provides hospital gowns for the children treated during Surgical Programs. If you or your club would like to participate with our Service Projects a gown pattern is available upon request from Operation Smile.
To request a copy of this pattern, or if you have any other questions, please contact us at [email protected] or 1-888-677-6453.
You may also wish to work with a service organization. Our service organization partners are committed to raising money and volunteering their time and talent to strengthen what Operation Smile can do for children and families who are hurting.
The General Federation of Women's Clubs (GFWC), one of the world's largest women's volunteer service organizations, has supported Operation Smile for more than 20 years. They've raised money for programs and donated handmade quilts, blankets, hospital gowns, smile bags and collected personal hygiene products and toys. During our long partnership, they have raised more than $1 million through their Outreach for Children program to benefit Operation Smile. Operation Smile thanks all GFWC members for their ongoing support.