Our company is passionate about its corporate partnership with the not-for-profit organization, Operation Smile, because they share our vision for making children smile.
Operation Smile is a wonderful organization that provides free surgeries
to children born with cleft lip or cleft palate. After having partnered with them for the past 11 years, our company has helped provide over 7,361 new smiles to children all over the world!
This year, our company was given an amazing opportunity to select a Swimways employee to accompany their team on a trip to Puebla, Mexico to get a first-hand look at the amazing things Operation Smile does!
Swimways employee, Monica Jones, and her daughter, went on this trip. During the first two days, 174 children were screened for surgery. There are certain requirements for a child to be selected for surgery, such as: needing to be at least 3 months old. They also consider first time patients to be their #1 priority. (There are cases where children may need to go through more than one surgery.)
On day 3, the parents of over 100 children, were notified that their children would be getting the surgery on this trip!
Monica and her daughter spent much of the trip playing with the children while they were waiting. They brought four suitcases of toys for the kids to play with. These suitcases included: bubbles, coloring books, Matchbox cars, Gund bears (Gund was recently acquired by Spin Master, SwimWays’ parent company), and a collection of soccer gear that Monica’s daughter, Natalie, collected through a donation drive.
On day 4, Monica and her daughter, along with some of the other Operation Smile guests, had the opportunity to get a tour of a neighboring town, where they got the chance to see some of Mexico’s amazing sights!
Day 5 was the first day of surgeries. The doctors performed more than 100 surgeries over the course of five days. Monica was given the opportunity and privilege of handing one child back to his mother after surgery.
When asked about her experience on this trip in Mexico, Monica said, “You have a bigger perspective on the world.” She and her daughter will always remember this experience, where they got to see the lives of children changed. And now, every year a SwimWays employee will be given the opportunity to join Operation Smile on one of their trips. Along with Mexico, the organization travels to the Philippines, Ghana, Guatemala, China, and many others!