Susan McGuire Jumps in to Giving Smiles

August 23, 2018 | Smile Train

One day in 2013, Susan McGuire of Sarasota, Florida, was mesmerized by an advertisement featuring photos of an Indonesian girl, before and after a Smile Train sponsored cleft surgery. Susan couldn’t believe the girl’s transformation. She said, “It was incredible to me that this beautiful girl’s new smile — which must have changed the course of her life — could have cost as little as $250.”

Susan visited Smile Train’s website to learn more. There, she read the stories of children around the world who had a solvable problem, but their parents simply couldn’t afford the solution — cleft treatment. Susan knew she wanted to help and rather than testing the waters with a small donation, she signed up to donate every month.

Susan McGuire on Smile Train trip to Mexico

Later the next year, Susan learned that Smile Train was offering supporters an opportunity to see Smile Train’s patients and local partners in Mexico. Susan signed up as she was eager to see her monthly donations in action. After everything was said and done, she left Mexico even more devoted than she had been on her arrival. She recalled what she took away from the visit: “Until you meet the kids and the surgeons face-to-face you don't truly understand the miracles that are taking place — if you did, without a shadow of a doubt, you’d become a donor and Smile Train ambassador for life.”

Inspired by what she saw in Mexico, Susan joined Smile Train's Professional Advisory Council, a group of diverse professionals who raise funds and awareness of Smile Train. As an active supporter, Susan makes presentations to schools, fraternal organizations, and medical and dental offices in the Sarasota area to spread the word about Smile Train.

Susan is also a member of Rotary International, and she staffed Smile Train’s booth at Rotary’s global conference in Toronto this past June. Rotary has clubs in many countries where Smile Train sponsors cleft care, and Susan is pursuing several opportunities that will generate more funding for Smile Train and create more smiles for children in need.

Susan McGuire on Smile Train trip to Mexico

After five years of monthly support, Susan recently informed Smile Train staff that she had included a generous gift to Smile Train in her will and had named Smile Train as the beneficiary of her life insurance policy. She explained how she came to her giving decision: 

The time I've spent volunteering has been tremendously rewarding but there is so much more that needs to be done to help children with clefts around the world. Smile Train has a wonderful story to tell, and more people need to know about what we do. I'm delighted to be in a position to contribute; it just seemed right to me to make a legacy gift. Having seen the cleft program in Mexico, I know my gifts will be put to the best possible use.

To learn more about how you can follow in Susan's footsteps and transform a child's life forever with an estate gift to Smile Train, contact us at 646.829.0984 or