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A Thousand Smiles

Is there anything more beautiful and heartwarming than a child’s smile?   Some children feel like smiling but are unable.  Their smiles are felt inward rather than being able to smile like other children.  Why?  Because they were born with maxillofacial deformities such as cleft lip and palate.

Enter Rotarians.  In 1985 The Thousand Smiles Foundation, a non- profit organization, was conceived by a group of Rotarians in district 5340.  It has operated ever since.  They are dedicated to provide quality, professional medical treatment without cost to patients with maxillofacial deformities who, without Rotarians help, would go untreated.  They also provide services to underprivileged children in Mexico who suffer from lack of dental care.

The Thousand Smiles Foundation is considered a Rotary International project and has been the recipient of several grants from The Rotary Foundation and individual Rotary Clubs.  The Foundation owns a modern dental clinic in Ensenada, Baja California, México. Four - two day clinics are held four times a year. The next clinic will be May 5 and 6. The foundation and its clinics are completely staffed by volunteers from The United States and México.

Miracles happen as a result of A Thousand Smiles!  Perhaps you would be interested in making a difference in the lives of many more children.  Possibly you would like to be part of a program that provides the most up to date treatments to help create perfect smiles for children.  There is so much dedicated Rotarians can do to impact and improve the lives of children in need living in Mexico.

Not all of us are able to participate in this type of service.  However, there is a way we can provide help at the clinic without actually traveling to Ensenada.

Tuesday, April 11 I will be collecting new or gently used stuffed toys to be taken by our Rotarians to Ensenada Dental Clinic.  We are providing these little patients with a stuffed toy to cuddle and keep during this scary time.

Gloria Tecca, Community Service Director