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During National Volunteer Week, April 16 – 22, we celebrate YOU – our volunteers and the compassionate work you do every day. Your partnership with Operation Smile is so powerful! It allows us to unite families, patients, and global medical specialists for a common purpose – to deliver free, safe and timely cleft surgeries and care to those in need.

The theme for National Volunteer Week 2023 is Volunteering Weaves Us Together. Let’s celebrate our individual and collective actions in creating a strong, interconnected, and vibrant community! Volunteering weaves us together, strengthening the fabric of our global community by sharing our time, talent, treasures, and energy to support one another.

Every single action we take — from each ambitiously constructed care plan to each delicately sewn suture — reflects our commitment to creating a fairer, more compassionate world.

Kathy Boehmer (Pre/Post Nurse) with a patient in Santa Cruz, Bolivia

Our global teams ensure access to safe, effective, and timely cleft surgery and care while, at the same time, strengthening local health systems in the low- and middle-income communities we serve.

Our medical volunteers are the heart and compassion of our organization as we enter The Next Decade of Love & Leadership. Since July 2022, we’ve placed over 70 Canadian medical volunteer opportunities throughout various international programs in Latin America, the Middle East, Africa, and Asia.

Morgan Livingstone (Child Life Specialist), Anne Trask (OR Nurse), and Dr. Michael Bezuhly (Cleft Surgeon & Board Chair), with Mark Climie-Elliott (CEO of Operation Smile Canada), at the airport for their flight to Riohacha, Colombia.

This February, three Champion volunteers (global experts in their skill) journeyed to Riohacha, Colombia, where they spent an intensive week training others through education sessions combined with a surgical program. Champion volunteers require a multi-year commitment to the program country they are assigned to. During this program, every surgical table is an education table, and every care delivery moment is designed to facilitate skills exchange between teams.

Over this Next Decade of Love & Leadership, we will deliver world-class cleft surgery and care for a million more patients.

We care with all our heart for our patients, their families, the communities we serve and the amazing volunteers and donors who help us serve them. We wouldn’t be able to do what we do without you! Thank you!

Donors and Volunteers made this story possible. Thank you.