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Operation Smile: Restoring Smiles, Restoring Lives.

It is the pet charity and philanthropic project for all three Trump scions through Ivana Trump: Donald Trump Jr., Ivanka Marie Trump-Kushner, and Eric Trump all contribute and participate to Operation Smile. In fact, Donald Trump Jr. is an ambassador of Operation Smile. And in Donald Trump Jr.’s visit to launch the Trump Tower at Century, a 56-storey residential facility in partnership with Century Properties last June 2012, he and his brother Eric donated $10,000 USD for Operation Smile Philippines.

They also helped unveil the Manila Cleft Care Center in Sta. Ana Hospital.

But the smiles do not cease to gleam there.

According to Operation Smile, around 4,000 children are born with cleft palates, every year in the Philippines. The worldwide organization was itself born in the Philippines after doctor-and-nurse couple, Dr. William “Bill” Magee and RN Kathleen “Kathy” Magee joined a medical mission to repair Filipino children’s cleft palates in 1982. They saw the deep need for more of the same work, and thus, Operation Smile was born.

To Dr. Bill Magee, Operation Smile is “The Philippines' lasting gift to the world.” [Source: GMA News Online]

Hundreds of doctors have already given their time, and even personal money, to serve the cause. A few of these are the following Pinoy Doctors:

Dr. Joselito R. Cembrano was an Operation Smile representative and counterpart in the recent Operation Smile medical mission at the Brokenshire Memorial Hospital in Davao City. It was held between June 13 to 19, 2015. He signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Lt. Gen. Aurelio B. Baladad, who represented AFP’s Eastern Mindanao Command.

Dr. Laurence Loh has participated in over 200 Operation Smile missions around the world. He points out that for a 20-minute surgery, he is profoundly affected by the change that it can effect in children’s lives. He shares that “Life is just more meaningful when God-given abilities and the skills you’ve developed are put into good use. […] I intend to give back.” [Source: Inquirer.net]

Dr. Edwin Magallona, a Kapampangan Pinoy Doctor who regularly volunteers in Operation Smile medical missions, shares stories about being disappointed when patients could not be operated on because they also have concurrent pneumonia. However, he relates the exhilaration of completing successful operations: "Happy kami na nakakatulong sa mga bata. Yung iba kasi, di na nakakapasok ng school dahil tinutukso sila dahil sa kanilang deformity." [Source: Philippine Plastic Surgeon Blog]

Dr. Mark A. Sison is also a regular volunteer of Operation Smile, and has even led a team in 2012. You can read about his outreach activities on his website: Dr. Mark A. Sison/Outreach

And then, balikbayan Pinoy Doctors also take part in giving back to their homeland:

Dr. Jesus Gil Tiongson is an active Operation Smile volunteer since 1995. He shares, ““It’s very fulfilling and I’m lucky to be able to have the chance to change somebody’s life. Walang kupas kahit paulit ulit mong ginagawa, nakakataba ng puso.” Dr. Tiongson practiced pediatric plastic surgery in the Children’s Hospital of the Kings Daughters in Norfolk, Virginia, USA. [Source: PhilStar]

If you’re a Pinoy Doctor, and you’re interested in volunteering, here are Operation Smile’s Volunteer Guidelines.

This year, Operation Smile launched the 2015 Operation Smile International Mission to the Philippines, also known as the “Gift of Smiles,” in June. Over 300 volunteers from 17 different countries signed up, with the aim of bringing fresh smiles to some 4,500 Filipino children between June 12 to 20, 2015. As of June 16, 2015, a simultaneous “Gift of Smiles” medical mission was conducted in the key cities of Bacolod, Cebu, Davao, Pampanga, and Manila. As of July 8th, Operation Smile Philippines announced the next pitstop in Roxas City, Western Visayas, for July 18th.

If you want to bring your children to take advantage of the medical mission, head on over to the New Roxas Memorial Provincial Hospital on July 18, 2015, or contact the Capiz Provincial Health Office at 09173222182 or the New Roxas Memorial Provincial Hospital at 09209200760. More information can be found on the Operation Smile Facebook Page.

Doctors and laypeople alike can still help to bring more smiles to children with cleft palates. Operation Smile accepts ongoing donations, as well as medical mission volunteers. President and Executive Director of Operation Smile Philippines Roberto Manzano notes that another way that Filipinos can help further the cause by volunteering in contributing to the mapping of the potential patients using Smart Communications Inc.’s Op Smile mobile app. All that a volunteer needs to do is to snap a mobile phone photo of the patient, and add the patient’s information via the app. On the other hand, online donations are also accepted. These and other information are all available on OperationSmile.org.ph

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