Thursday, February 9, 2012

Day 40: Helped Someone Smile

Every year, over 165,000 children are born with cleft lip or palate. Many of these children are born in developing nations that don't have the funds or the means to repair this disorder. These children struggle with eating and speaking properly, and many aren't allowed to attend school or work a job as they grow older. An organization called Smile Train is dedicated to providing free surgeries to children around the world who were born with cleft lip and palate.

I had seen the commercials before, but sadly never paid much attention to them or knew the extent of how cleft palate affected these children. Last night that changed when I received an email from the mother of an amazing young boy. A woman named Tanna sent me an email describing the mission of her son Samuel. Samuel is an 11 year old boy who, in December, saw a commercial for Smile Train. Instead of buying something for himself, Samuel wanted to use the money he received for Christmas and his birthday to fund one of the cleft palate surgeries (A single surgery can be funded with only $250!). Since then, Samuel has raised money to pay for 4 surgeries! After learning about Samuel, I was inspired to both help a child afflicted with cleft palate and to help Samuel continue his mission of giving. So today, for my random act of kindness, I visited Samuel's Giving Page, and donated towards his cause. It wasn't very much, but I was hoping that I could spread the word, and some of our wonderful followers may be able to help this young man on his quest to allow others a chance at a normal life. Even if you aren't able to give, please visit the site and if leave a message for Samuel if you so choose.


  1. Ryan I am moved beyond words. Thank you for sharing Samuel's story. Thank you for donating and those that have read this and donated. Love how my son can see his random act of kindness being paid forward!

  2. My cousin's son, Ryan was born with a minor cleft palette and has had 4 surgeries to repair his dental/cosmetic issues. And, in lieu of Christmas presents, Ryan wants smile train donations every year. So every year, for 6 years we've been donating to this charity. :) :) We love it! :) :) :)