Wednesday, May 23, 2007






Gator Smiles

There is an incredible group of college students at the University of Florida who have made a HUGE difference for kids with cleft. Dedicated to helping these children, they have named themselves, Gator Smiles.

In January, a very enthusiastic young lady named Stephanie established the club. She created this club after meeting twin girls from China who both had repaired cleft lip and palates. These two little girls were both healed on the first ever cleft trip that LWB organized in 2004. Their story touched her deeply and she saw how this surgery changed their lives forever. She just knew she wanted to do something to help, and Gator Smiles was born.

So far, Gator Smiles has had over 50 members join and they are continuing to grow. This group has worked so hard this past semester having collected over $3000 for cleft affected children. Their fundraising goals have been so ambitious and will now change the lives of over 7 children. Some of the activities that they have done to raise money include a bake sale, carwash, a penny wars, Home-Interior D├ęcor sales, a band party, a 5K walk/run, and a Pizza Hut end-of-the-year party.

Qing is one of the children that has now been changed because of their generosity and hard work. This beautiful baby boy was born with a unilateral cleft lip and palate. In April, he had his life changed forever and will now have a chance of finding a family of his very own. What a gift these college students have given this child!