Charity Spotlight: Smile Train

It’s the holiday season and in the spirit of celebrating the things that really matter, over the next few weeks we’re going to be shining a light on the incredible work of some of our partner charities across the world.

To kick things off, we spoke to the lovely Beth Angella, who works in the fundraising team at Smile Train’s UK HQ, to find out a little bit more about the fantastic work the charity does to help children across the world.

Who are Smile Train and what do they do? 

Smile Train empowers local medical professionals with training, funding, and resources to provide free cleft surgery and comprehensive cleft care to children globally. We advance a sustainable solution and scalable global health model for cleft treatment, drastically improving children’s lives, including their ability to eat, breathe, speak, and ultimately thrive.

How did it all start? 

Smile Train was founded in 1999 by Charles Wang. Since then, Smile Train has grown into the world’s leading cleft charity, helping over 1,000,000 children with clefts, supporting training for thousands of medical professionals and establishing hundreds of programmes in over 85 countries.

Charles was the driving force behind Smile Train and the reason why so many deserving children continue to receive the care they so desperately need.  His unwavering passion, commitment, and dedication to children with clefts was unmatched. Sadly, Charles passed away in October 2018, however his legacy will live on forever in the smiles of the faces of the children Smile Train helps.

How is the partnership with TruRating going?

Since partnering with us, TruRating has donated funds to help transform the lives of over 25 children around the world. More recently TruRating’s employees are becoming more and more involved in fundraising for our work, for example running the Santa Run where the team hope to fund a further 10 smiles!

To donate to the cause this year, check out the team’s Just Giving page, anything you can spare is very much appreciated!

IMG_6455
The crowd gets ready for action at last year’s Santa Run

Any event we should mark on the calendar?

Yes – World Smile Day! This is celebrated annually on the first Friday in October. It is the day we celebrate everyone’s right to smile and raise even more funds to ensure no baby or child born with a cleft lip and/or palate is denied this right. There are so many fantastic ways to get involved – sign up to one of our fundraising challenges, host a bake sale or trivia night or simply raise awareness by sharing one of our amazing patient stories with your friends, family and colleagues.

We also celebrate Cleft and Craniofacial Awareness and Prevention month every July – this gives us the chance to boost our educational and fundraising efforts to make sure everyone all over the world understands cleft and knows how they can support those who need help.

How can we follow your amazing work and how can people support it?

Keep up to date by checking out our amazing fundraising and patient stories and by checking out our social media on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Snapchat.

For a more in-depth story about some of the work we do, you can read through the heart warming tale of a father looking for a miracle in Myanmar. 

Any last messages for us or our followers?

Thank you to TruRating for helping to change the world one smile at a time!

_____

A huge thanks to Beth for taking the time to speak to us, and to everyone at Smile Train for the unbelievable work they do every single day.  If you’d like to learn more about becoming a supporter of the charity, head over to the Smile Train website.

TruRating is partnered with 11 amazing charities across the world. If you’d like to learn more about the TruCharity program in your region, why not check out the Charity section of our website.

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