Why We Support Smile Train

One of the most meaningful and heart-warming things a child can do is smile at you. When you see a child smile, you know she is genuinely happy — she’s not just putting on airs. Smiling is often the first real expression an infant learns to make, which is probably why it’s so easy for people to take for granted their ability to make this basic nonverbal communication.

Not everyone is so lucky. About 1 in 700 children is born with a cleft, which is a type of deformity that can create a “gap” between the mouth and nose or even affect another part of the face. It can make it difficult to eat and speak if not treated, and other social consequences are also a major factor depending on the culture, such as not being able to find a job or go to school. Babies born with clefts in Uganda are given the name “Ajok,” which means “cursed by God,” and they are ostracized by their community. Sadly, many are killed or abandoned right after birth in this country because of the deformity.

While a simple surgery can fix most cleft lips and palates when done soon after birth, the surgery simply isn’t available to everyone who needs it around the world. Each surgery costs about $250 and takes less than an hour, but children born in developing countries don’t often have access to the right facilities, the money to pay for it, or both, to have this deformity corrected.

Clefts are treatable and the surgery can greatly improve the lives of those who receive it. These are the reasons why Alyshaan Fine Rugs supports Smile Train — It’s one small way we can help make a positive difference in the world. This New York City-based nonprofit empowers local medical teams in 87 developing countries to provide free and safe surgery to the newborns who need it but can’t afford it. Smile Train also works to build sustainable cleft programs and partners with hospitals to promote education and training.

Smile Train has assisted with more than 1 million cleft surgeries since it started in 1999, and we are proud to say we are supporters of their cause. How else can you spend $250 to dramatically increases the life expectancy and quality of life for a person? It’s a small amount, but it means the world to the children who receive it.

If you want to learn more about Smile Train or to donate directly, visit http://www.smiletrain.org/.

Alyshaan Fine Rugs is also proud to support these Arizona charities:

  • Bridging Arizona — Accepts donations of gently used furniture and household items to get them to families who need but cannot afford them. They also run the Beds for Kids program that pairs mattresses and box springs in good condition to children in need who don’t currently have adequate beds. We donated more than $10,000 worth of children’s area rugs last year to this cause.
  • United for Change — Helps veterans in need to get the services and comfort they need. Veterans served our country and helped protect our home, which is why it’s a tragedy that so many are homeless or struggling. Phoenix alone has roughly 3,500 homeless veterans! That is unacceptable. Alyshaan Fine Rugs has donated more than $12,000 work of furniture and rugs to United for Change for the Veterans to Veterans furniture bank.
  • OIC Sullivan’s Place — A transitional housing program for homeless veterans. The Arizona Opportunities Industrialization Center through Sullivan’s Place assists and mentors veterans and their families so they can become self-sufficient and can transition to regular housing. We donated about $12,000 in furniture and rugs to Arizona OIC.

By Allison Edrington.

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