NEW YORK, Nov. 29, 2016 /CNW/ -- In celebration of #GivingTuesday and the holiday giving season, Smile Train, the world's largest cleft organization, launched its new "Give Smiles" campaign today to help more children around the world smile and live happier, healthier lives.
From now through December 31, Smile Train will strive to raise enough funds to Give Smiles to 2,017 children with clefts. Leveraging the latest in cutting-edge technology, Smile Train is officially launching a new fully-digital, social fundraising platform on #GivingTuesday with the goal of raising the funds for 33 smiles on that day. In place of asking for presents this year, Smile Train suggests that supporters create their own personalized social fundraising pages so their friends and family can Give Smiles instead.
"We are so excited to celebrate #GivingTuesday and launch our new Give Smiles campaign," said Susannah Schaefer, CEO of Smile Train. "We are hopeful that through the support of our donors, celebrity ambassadors, corporate partners, community fundraisers and medical partners, by the end of the year we will reach our goal and give an additional 2,017 smiles to children with clefts and improve their lives!"
As a part of #GivingTuesday and Give Smiles, a number of Smile Train celebrity ambassadors, corporate partners and community fundraisers from around the world will participate. Below, please find an overview of key activities:
- Community Fundraisers in the UK: Smile Train UK kicked off #GivingTuesday with local schools by hosting ornament decorating parties as part of the organization's "Students for Smile Train" program.
- Smile Train India: Smile Train's CEO, Susannah Schaefer, is in Agra celebrating #GivingTuesday with some of the organization's local Indian partner hospitals and medical partners, who are on the ground helping cleft patients 365 days a year.
- Global Support: Smile Train's global medical partners and staff throughout Asia, Latin America and Africa are participating in the Give Smiles social media campaign to support and help raise awareness for children with clefts.
- Celebrity Engagement: Smile Train's celebrity supporters are paying it forward this #GivingTuesday by hosting special events around the world, participating in various activities on social media, and decorating Smile Train's iconic Smile Jars to inspire holiday giving.
- Corporate Partners Get Involved:
- Dr. Brown's launched a new partnership with Smile Train to provide essential nutritional support to families who face malnutrition and have difficulty feeding children born with cleft lips and/or palates. Through the partnership, a portion of proceeds from Dr. Brown's Specialty Feeding System will fund Smile Train's global efforts.
- Masimo partnered with Smile Train to ensure the safety of patients undergoing cleft surgery in developing countries. Smile Train's nurse training programs and partner hospitals will benefit from an in-kind donation of 460+ Masimo SET® Measure-through Motion and Low Perfusion® pulse oximeters. Masimo also created a social fundraising page to help raise awareness and funds to provide cleft repair surgery to an additional 60 children with clefts.
- Various corporate partners – including Masimo, Monroe Trades, Elf Magic, Infogroup and more – pledged their support this holiday season by creating their own fundraising pages and rallying their employees to contribute to Smile Train.
To learn more about Smile Train, set-up your own social fundraising page or to make a donation during this holiday season, visit: smiletrain.org/givesmiles. Follow Smile Train on Twitter and Instagram @SmileTrain for new updates throughout the year.
About Smile Train
Smile Train is an international children's charity with a sustainable approach to a single, solvable problem: cleft lip and palate. Millions of children in developing countries with untreated clefts live in isolation, but more importantly, have difficulty eating, breathing and speaking. Cleft repair surgery is simple, and the transformation is immediate. Our sustainable model provides training, funding and resources to empower local doctors in 85+ developing countries to provide 100%-free cleft repair surgery and comprehensive cleft care in their own communities. To learn more about how Smile Train's sustainable approach means donations have both an immediate and long-term impact, please visit smiletrain.org.
Nijha Diggs, Director of Public Relations
Matthew Frappier, Vice President
SOURCE Smile Train