As I wrote my World War II novel Thief of Glory, one of the main characters came to life for me -- a boy with a cleft palate who roams the village at night. His bravery saves the lives of hundreds of women and children in a nearby concentration camp.
My research about the character Adi led me to Operation Smile and the amazing way it changes lives of children like Adi, and since then, I've been inspired by Operation Smile to try to help bring a new smile to as many children as possible.
Every three minutes a child is born with a cleft. The children who do survive are often unable to eat, speak, socialize or smile. In some places, they are shunned and rejected. And in too many cases, their parents can't afford to give them the surgeries they need to live a productive life.
That's where Operation Smile comes in as the largest volunteer-based medical charity providing free cleft surgeries. Since 1982, Operation Smile -- through the help of dedicated medical volunteers -- has provided over 220,000 free surgical procedures for children and young adults born with facial deformities. Their work creates a lasting global impact. Operation Smile trains local doctors in developing countries and strengthens healthcare systems so more children in some of the poorest areas in the world can be treated.
I believe that every child deserves access to safe, quality surgical care and am excited to support Operation Smile. Please join me in supporting this great charity and reaching my goal of surgery for 10 children! In as little as 45 minutes, one cleft lip surgery can change a child's life forever. With your help, how many lives can we change tomorrow?
(Sigmund Brouwer is the best-selling author of 27 novels and several series of childrens' titles, and with nearly four million books in print in seven different languages. Through his Rock & Roll Literacy Show®, he speaks to about 80,000 students per year at schools across North America, helping teachers help children get better at reading and writing.)
Together, We Can Change Lives
Operation Smile mobilizes a world of generous hearts to heal children’s smiles and transform lives across the globe. Operation Smile’s network of volunteers works worldwide to repair childhood facial deformities including cleft lips and cleft palates.
I hope you'll help me bring hope and new smiles to children suffering from facial deformities.