Thanks Katie, for sending the brochures!
A few weeks ago, I was asked to attend Olympus High School's Social Awareness Fair as a representative for Operation Smile. The event was called "GLAD to be S.A.D" (socially aware? aka social awareness day). I got to present a little about myself and a LOT about Op Smile! It was amazing how many people didn't know- but there was a lot of people who did and they were really interested to learn more.
I brought a photo book I made of my adventures from last summer with 3 spreads dedicated to ISLC and Op Smile that people LOVED. I told lots of people about this amazing conference (and of course my Mr. Potato Head and scarf from Jordan, as well as my pledge picture from ISLC '09).
Not sure if you can see the bikers in the upper right hand corner, but lots of students came for food and a good time and lots of OS Awareness was raised! :)
I got there about an hour early so I could set up and be on time- and low and behold, out of the 20+ booths they had set up for various service organizations, I was the only one there for a good half hour! Then these bikers came rollin' and revvin' representing BACA- Bikers Against Child Abuse. It was great that there was only 2 of us there because a LOT of students were there to tie dye shirts and enjoy free food and music so they came and gave ME a lot of attention! As I was leaving the event about 2 hours later, there was one or two more booths that came straggling in for the remaining students left.
I PROMISE I did not make that awful sign, but the table worked out great and was well received by all who stopped by! Leslie, I wish I would have brought bubbles! Next time:)
I had several people who were genuinely interested and I talked to them for a long time. Many students even gave me money in my coinstar jar that I had sitting on the table as decor! I was touched. I was going to set up my laptop for a photo slideshow but it was sketchy weather so we decided against it.
One of my girls in Jordan. She had a hemangioma on her ear as you can kindof tell in the photo. She was one of the first I met, PreScreen day 1
Thankfully she was able to receive surgery on her ear. However, about 300 others who came in for screening did not. Every surgery costs $240 and takes about 24-25 minutes. Every dollar, every minute- ever word makes all the difference.
Operation Smile is truly incredible organization. I know that every single time we spread the word, the message grows and our cause grows stronger. Every minute spent goes towards another one of the 300 rejected patients I saw in Jordan- that they too, like the 104 others, could get surgery one day as well because of something so small that I did to contribute. And not just in Jordan. Operation Smile operates in over 51 countries to date. Wherever in the world they may be, they are all the same. They are individuals who have lost a sense of self to something they had no control over and are just wishing and praying they might be seen as the real people they are behind the deformity.
Thanks so much for all your help, support and love!
We can do this!