Smile Train supporter Jenna Stoll describes, in her own words, how raising smiles has become a family passion.
Both of my daughters were born with a cleft lip and palate — Ella in Vietnam, and Violet in China — only two days apart from one another.
After becoming parents to children born with clefts, my husband and I researched the impact of cleft lip and palate around the world. We were shaken to discover that millions of children born in developing countries (like Ella and Violet had been) are living with untreated clefts simply because their parents cannot afford their surgeries. I couldn’t imagine the heartache that the parents of these cleft-affected children must feel watching their child barred from school or bullied in their own community. What I did know was that our family wanted to help in any way possible, so we decided to raise funds for Smile Train.
We have an amazing network of friends and family members whom we call “our village.” Over the past eight years, they’ve surrounded us with love and support through each of the girl's surgeries and joined us in supporting Smile Train. Together, we have raised an incredible 40 smiles and counting! With each year, our goal gets bigger and our village of support grows.
Now that Ella and Violet are getting older, they have taken up the cause as well. They’ve done reports about clefts at school and they’ve even started donating their own money to Smile Train, which is so encouraging for us as parents to see.
If you’d like to join the Stoll family’s village, make a donation to their fundraising page today. Your support can help a child receive their new smile and a second chance at life.