Operation Smile aims to help children across the globe


Abby Wang

Laying out supplies after school, the One Thread Club prepares to make a quilt to donate to people in need. Being its first year, the club features way to learn how to sew as well as receive volunteer hours.

Athena Tseng, Staff Reporter

Throughout the campus, there are dozens of clubs that cover a wide range of interests. However, Operation Smile is working towards raising awareness over a very overlooked topic: children in third-world countries with cleft lip/palate conditions. 

“In our club, we hope that we can raise awareness about the global crisis of lack of essential surgery that often leads to mortality in LMICs and further engage in service projects that provide aid to both third-world countries and the local community,” club president, senior Karen Ryu said. “We also hope to start a fundraiser soon to raise money to help provide children with cleft lip/palate surgeries. It takes as little as $240 to provide a life-changing surgery.”

Sponsor, Angela Montgomery, thinks this club is very unique compared to the other clubs on campus.

“Not all clubs are focused on helping children so specifically, so I think that is one way that this club is different from most; it has a very focused goal of helping those children that need surgery to correct their facial deformity,” Montgomery said.

This club doesn’t just help the children; it also helps its members grow and learn life skills. 

Joining our club also gives students the opportunity to apply to the International Student Leadership Conference (ISLC) hosted annually by Operation Smile,” Ryu said. “The conference will help students develop leadership skills and provide them with an opportunity to discuss creative ways to provide aid to developing countries with students from all around the world.”

Founded in 2019, it seeks to make a lasting impact on local communities.

“Last year, we made and decorated sock puppets to be sent to an Operation Smile medical mission to be used by speech pathologists when they help young patients with cleft conditions form certain sounds and practice their speech,” Ryu said. “As of now, we will be working on a new local project throughout March, in which members will create “busy books” containing coloring and activity pages to help entertain pediatric patients in a waiting room. We will be donating the finished products to the Children’s Health Hospital.”