“On September 27th, I will be hosting Operation Smile’s 2013 Smile Gala at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel, and I would be honored if you joined me in supporting this incredible children’s charity,” she wrote on her fundraising page. "Operation Smile is a mobilized force of medical professionals and caring hearts who provide safe, effective reconstructive surgery and related medical care for children born with facial deformities such as cleft lip and cleft palate.
“Every three minutes a child is born with a cleft. One in 10 of those children will die before their first birthday. The children who survive are often unable to eat, speak, socialize or smile. In some places, they are shunned and rejected. And in too many cases, their parents can’t afford to give them the surgeries they need to live a productive life.
“That’s where Operation Smile comes in as the largest volunteer-based medical charity providing free cleft surgeries. Since 1982, Operation Smile — through the help of dedicated medical volunteers — has provided more than 3.5 million comprehensive patient evaluations and over 200,000 free surgeries for children and young adults born with facial deformities.
“After supporting Operation Smile for four years, my family and I had the honor of joining their volunteer team on a medical mission in Guadalajara, Mexico this summer, and what we witnessed was a miracle… We felt the power of selflessness in the presence of the Operation Smile team. You cannot imagine what community service is like until you live it, but it changed my life forever and opened my heart in a whole new way. I feel a moral obligation to give back and do something important, but I had no idea how much I would get back from the experience.
“For as little as $240, one cleft lip surgery can change a child’s life forever. My family and I are personally committed to matching the first 10 surgeries raised on this page. With your help, how many lives can we change tomorrow?”