One of the charities I decided to support last Christmas (in addition to Kiva, which I talk about here and here) was smiletrain.org, an organization that provides free cleft lip surgery to poor children around the world who are born with a cleft lip or cleft palate. If you can look at the "Before" photos on the smiletrain website without it breaking your heart, you're a stronger man than I am. And if you can look at the "After" photos without wanting to be a part of this neat organization, you must have something better to do with $25 than I do.
A few weeks after I sent in my last $25 donation, I got the below email, which is kind of a cool reminder that there are actually real kids who are being helped by even a small donation like mine.
Meet Sareap Tuy, a 9-year-old boy from a very poor area of Cambodia, who we were able to help thanks to your support.
Sareap’s family is extremely poor and his parents could have worked for 100 years and still not be able to afford to pay for the cleft surgery he desperately needed.
Poor Sareap lived with his cleft for 9 long years, tormented by other children and shunned by his village. He was not allowed to attend school because of the way he looked, because he was a distraction to the other children.
Luckily, someone in their village told them about a hospital that had a free cleft surgery program and they took Sareap to National Pediatric Hospital where Sareap received free cleft surgery on April 2, 2009. Dr. Long Vanna did a great job!
Now, Sareap can go to school for the first time and learn how to speak properly. He’s very lucky to have received the surgery he so desperately needed and can now begin a new life.
Unfortunately, there are still more than 4.6 million children in the world who are not so lucky and who are still waiting for their clefts to be repaired.
Will you help us help one more child?
Send us a donation of any amount and we’ll use 100% of it to help another kid like Sareap. (I’ll send you another photo, too, as a small token of our appreciation for your help.)
Thanks for reading this and for helping us to help these kids.
All the best,