The experience of having a child born with a birth defect can be isolating and scary. Often, it is hard to find other families who are going through the same thing and who can really understand how you are feeling and what your needs are. For families who have a newborn or young child with an oral cleft birth defect, the organization Cleft Lip and Palate Foundation of Smiles (Cleft Smile) helps to fulfill this need, offering a crucial network of support for families and children.
Now, in anticipation of Craniofacial Acceptance Month in September, the organization is asking for volunteers to step up and become a Smile Leader in their state or country. They are looking for volunteers in all 50 states and internationally.
These Smile Leaders play a crucial role in creating local support and information networks for families of children with oral cleft defects. Smile Leaders are responsible for reaching out to everyone who is involved in helping children born with these types of defects. That includes Craniofacial Teams, Schools, OBGYN’s and other facilities to share educational material on Craniofacial Differences. It also means serving as the main point of contact for the Cleft Smile Foundation, enabling the Foundation to further extend its reach and meet its fundamental goal of making sure families receive support and answers to their questions.
Smile Leaders will help keep information and resources up-to-date, host events to connect patients and families, and promote Cleft Smile programs, such as the Weimer Bottle Fund Program. Interested individuals can let the Foundation know they are interested by filling out a simple form on the Cleft Smile website. It is also simple to connect with the Cleft Lip and Palate Foundation of Smiles through their Facebook page.