Operation Smile Club supports patients at CHKD


Andrea Smolin

Freshman Katherine Elliot and Katherine Harrison make friendship bracelets for patients at CHKD receiving cleft palate surgery on Thursday, Oct. 20, 2022, in the school’s courtyard.

Operation Smile Club continues to support children in need of cleft palate surgeries since the club began in 2005.

“Operation Smile’s mission involves working towards a future where everyone across the globe has access to safe surgeries,” said club vice president Sonia Kekeh.

Children all around the world are born with cleft palates, a birth defect, and these cleft palates can be caused by a combination of genes or problems with pregnancy. Children with cleft palates generally have problems with speaking clearly, as well as trouble with eating. Without the help from Operation Smile, many children would still suffer from this birth defect.  

“The Operation Smile donations go directly to the corporation once we have raised enough for a child’s surgery -around $240. We recently donated enough to the corporate organization to cover at least two Operation Smile surgeries, $480,” said club sponsor Andrea Smolin.

Operation Smile Club is in the process of planning many fundraising events.

“For the future, we’re planning on having more Krispy Kreme fundraisers because the first one was a huge success and we were able to meet our goals of funding a surgery.” said club president Millie Makk. “We’re also planning on a toy drive of some sort and a service project in conjunction with the CHKD Craniofacial Unit who we worked with last year as well. Currently, we’re planning a meeting centered around a possible t-shirt fundraiser!”

Operation Smile Club is open to anyone who wishes to join at any time.

“Students can come to our monthly meetings which are held after school on Tuesdays or Wednesdays in room 225. We advertise around the school and post to social media. Our Instagram is:  @opsmile.olhs @osstudpro and Group Me: https://web.groupme.com/join_group/61184318/1Uu7xzAO,” said Smolin.