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Monday, March 18, 2013

Helping Children Smile

a girl helped by Operation Smile
I've made it no secret that I would like to adopt one day. And if you don't know, I have researched adoption like crazy. That was where I first heard about the condition called "cleft palate". It was on a list for an adoptive family to look at of conditions a baby could have, and whether they'd be willing to consider a child with that condition.

Sadly, I'm guessing that having a child born with this condition makes it more likely for the child to be given up for adoption, both due to social stigma and because many people can't afford the surgeries that can fix this condition and give the child a new lease on life.

One organization that helps children who suffer from this condition is Operation Smile. You may have seen their commercials or heard them endorsed by a celebrity before. They transform lives by giving children the surgeries they need to improve their health and lives. And I'm sure they prevent orphans as well by giving hope to families who may otherwise surrender their children but instead get to stay with their biological parents. As Christians, we are called to help orphans and one of the best ways to do that is by preventing them in the first place.

If you're like me, you probably don't really know what a cleft palate or lip actually means. It's a congenital deformation that causes the lip to be split, the palate (top part of the mouth) to have a hole in it, or both. As you can imagine, having a hole in your mouth can make it impossible to even eat properly and so if left untreated 1 out of 10 of these children will die. The other 9 would find life much more difficult than healthy children.

Of course, providing a service for free still requires money, and we all know medical procedures aren't inexpensive affairs. So how can you help? Well there are several ways. If you're generally broke, like me, you can spread awareness as I'm doing. Did you know Operation Smile has a blog? You can also donate. Or if you're a college student you can get your textbooks through CampusBookRentals.com.

They donate a portion of the money they earn from each rental to Operation Smile. And of course, renting saves you money compared to buying the book in the first place, typically 40%-90%. They have free shipping both ways, are flexible with the rental periods, and allow highlighting in the books. They also have a new program called RentBack.

With RentBack if you own a textbook you can allow them to rent it out to another student, and you can do this several times. In general, you earn more money than you would selling it back to the campus book store. Actually, I think that's pretty cool and wish I had that in college as the campus book store always was offering only like 10% of what I paid for it.

In conclusion, Operation Smile helps kids in need. CampusBookRentals.com helps Operation Smile and students. And I think both are pretty cool.

This is a sponsored post. However, you can trust I wouldn't publish anything with which I disagree!

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