When I graduated from university, I thought law school was the obvious destination. Happily, I had people in my life with a great deal more wisdom who encouraged me to take a year off to do something different. That decision led to Operation Smile where one year of “something different” soon became five years and a life changing experience.
Operation Smile is an international medical charity that treats children suffering from facial deformities in the developing world. Specifically, children with cleft lips and cleft palates, who have no alternative for care.
What immediately drew me to the charity was that its work offers an instantaneous life change for these children in need. An hour-long surgery erases a terrible deformity that would have prevented a child from ever living any semblance of a normal life.
Two weeks after graduation, I found myself in Southern Vietnam working with Vietnamese and international medical professionals to treat nearly 200 children with deformities. I went on to lead medical mission and educational initiatives in Africa, Asia and Latin American for two years before heading to London to help launch Operation Smile in the U.K. A move that, in a strange way, led me to shirtmaking.
While my entire time with Operation Smile was memorable, I cannot underestimate the impact of those early experiences in the field. You only need to carry one kid from the recovery room back to his waiting parents to be overwhelmed by the transformative power of the charity’s work.
Fast forward to today, and we are pleased to announce Operation Smile as Ledbury’s first charitable partner. Through the “Shirts for Smiles Campaign”, $5 from selected shirts (The Marshall Chambray) and $1 for each new customer for the remainder of the year will go toward Operation Smile’s work. It’s a small gesture, but one we know will have a big impact on a dozens of children’s lives.
Thanks as always for your support and we encourage you to learn more about Operation Smile at www.operationsmile.org.
Former Operation Smile Mission Coordinator
Former Director of Operation Smile U.K.