VIA boosts support for Operation Smile

March 18, 2024

The Village Improvement Association has long supported the efforts of Operation Smile. In 2023, members stepped up their activities to meet the increased need for materials. The shelves at Operation Smile were empty, critical supplies were needed and club members were equal to the challenge.

Confronted by the increase in the cost of fabric and sewing materials as well as the growing need for more blankets and handmade fabric smile bags, which contain personal items including hand mirrors so children can see how they look after surgery, members searched for more funding.

When a new shipping challenge popped up, they also contributed suitcases in which to pack the items, ensuring needed supplies made it to their destination.

The 29 suitcases filled with blankets, smile bags, hospital gowns and other items were received with gratitude. The total value of the delivery in February was over $6,000.

This donation was made possible by the generosity of the greater Rehoboth Beach community and the hard work of club members.

Operation Smile, an affiliate organization of the General Federation of Women’s Clubs, provides free reconstructive cleft surgeries to correct facial deformities in children worldwide. Left untreated, these children may suffer from malnutrition, social isolation and impaired speech. Since 2019, VIA women have partnered with Operation Smile in providing vital materials for children before and after life-changing surgeries.

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