Club Spotlight: Operation Smile

a child whose life has been changed by Operation Smile; photo courtesy of Operation Smile

a child whose life has been changed by Operation Smile; photo courtesy of Operation Smile

Bita Zadeh, Photojournalist

Students all around YLHS may know of many different clubs such as WE Club or Red Cross, but a new club has been founded, helping to change people’s lives: Operation Smile.

This club is a student run organization run by Shelby Emami (12), a senior at YLHS. It is composed of about 30 members, who are eager to help the world out.

What is Operation Smile? It is a non-profit organization and the club works to fundraise for corrective surgery for children who are suffering from cleft lip/palate in Third World countries and cannot afford it. Cleft lip/palate is a facial deformity and doesn’t allow children to eat or drink properly. They may also get bullied or shunned by friends and family, and those with the deformity can even die from infections. It is driven by a global network of medical professionals, who donate many hours toward the care of these children around the world, and many supporters who are moved to make a difference in lives of children they have never met. Operation Smile “dreams of a world where no child suffers from lack of safe surgery.”

The students that join this club will be able to learn the power of community and learn how they can change the world for the better. Through this organization, students have opportunities to serve others, become leaders and learn new things. These students are what will help the future and legacy of Operation Smile which will continue to bring smiles to suffering children around the world.

As I was talking to her about the club, Shelby Emami (12) explained how,”Starting the club at YLHS showed [her] how people around the world are suffering and are in pain and how grateful we should all be for everything we have.”

The Operation Smile club is yet to have their first meeting, and are still hoping that people will join in. It is for anyone who would love to help out this special cause. If you want to join this club you can text @ylhsoperationsmile to 81010 to receive reminders about meeting dates and updates about the club.

The mission of the Operation Smile club is to work together and get YLHS students involved to change the lives of these children for the better. Every child deserves to feel confident and this club is making changes one smile at a time.