10 international missions. 9 sites. 3weeks. 30 countries. 1,000 volunteers.
This is Operation Smile’s upcoming 30th anniversary by the numbers.
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Operation Smile, an international children’s medical charity that traces its roots to the Philippines, is set to conduct 10 missions in 9 different sites across the country for 3 weeks participated in by a thousand volunteers from 30 countries for its homecoming dubbed as “The Journey Home.”
Three decades after American couple Bill and Kathy Magee first set foot in the country, Operation Smile is coming back to the Philippines, the birthplace of the worldwide children’s medical charity that provides surgery and related health care to indigent children and young adults afflicted with cleft lip, cleft palate and other childhood facial deformities. It all began when the husband and wife team visited the country for a one-time medical mission in Naga City. Around 300 families, hoping to avail of free surgery for their children, trooped to the medical mission site. The Magees and their team however were only able to accommodate 40 children that day. One of the women whose child wasn't accommodated came to the Magees with a bunch of bananas, insistently telling the Magees it was a gift of gratitude for helping all the other children. That powerful memory tugged at the couple's hearts, inspiring them to mobilize support for another medical mission the next year. And the rest, as they say, is history.
"It's both our responsibility and delight to come together and thank the Filipinos for inspiring the birth of Operation Smile,” says Dr. Magee, co-founder and executive chairman of Operation Smile, Inc., the mother organization headquartered in Norfolk, Virginia, USA.
“It is indeed a very significant move for OSI (Operation Smile International) to celebrate the organization’s 30th year here in the Philippines. We are privileged and honored to host ‘The Journey Home’,” says Joaquin Quintos, chairman of Operation Smile Philippines (OSP), the in-country organization of OSI.
Operation Smile’s “The Journey Home” is a series of medical missions that seeks to change a child’s life by conducting free surgery to repair cleft lip, cleft palate and other facial deformities. “It is touching how the mother organization OSl continues to give back to the country where it began. It is truly a fitting tribute to the country and the Filipinos are equally grateful for this,” says Roberto Manzano, OSP president and executive director.
The schedule of “The Journey Home” will be as follows: October 26-31 in South Cotabato Provincial Hospital, Koronadal; November 8-18 in Bicol Medical Center, Naga City; Mother Theresa of Calcutta Medical Center, San Fernando, Pampanga; Teresita Jalandoni Memorial Provincial Hospital, Silay City, Negros Occidental; Northern Mindanao Medical Center, Cagayan de Oro City; November 22-December 2 in Sta. Ana Hospital, Sta. Ana, Manila; De La Salle University Medical Center, Dasmariñas, Cavite; Vicente Sotto Memorial Medical Center, Cebu City; Socsargen County Hospital, General Santos City.
To find out more about Operation Smile’s “The Journey Home,” call (632) 811-9737 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Operation Smile (www.operationsmile.org)
Operation Smile, headquartered in Norfolk, Virginia, is an international children’s medical charity that works in more than 60 countries. More than 5,000 medical volunteers from over 80 countries volunteer with Operation Smile to help improve the health and lives of children. Since its founding in 1982, Operation Smile has provided more than 2 million healthcare evaluations and conducted over 200,000 free surgeries for children and young adults born with cleft lips, cleft palates and other facial deformities, as well as patients suffering from burns. To build long-term self-sufficiency in developing countries, Operation Smile donates medical equipment, provides year-round medical treatment through Comprehensive Care Centers, and trains doctors and local medical professionals in its partner countries so they are empowered to treat their own local communities.