Wednesday, July 9, 2008

CWDkids Care Contest - Winner!

Winner - Avia, from San Mateo, CA.

Each year on her birthday, Avia
expresses her appreciation for all she has in life by making a donation to a non-profit organization. This year, 9 year old Avia heard about Smile Train and went to their web site to learn more about their work.

Smile Train is an organization that provides free corrective surgery to children in developing countries who have been born with cleft lips and palates. Avia was shocked by the stories of children who have lived with this condition. In many countries, it is considered an evil sign or a curse to be born with such an affliction, and many babies are abandoned because of this. They can be mercilessly taunted and teased, and many are not allowed to go to school or even hold a job later in life due to their different appearance. A cleft lip or palate can impair a person’s ability to eat, drink, and even speak. These desperate children face a life of shame, isolation, and heartache.

Avia was moved that the simple, free surgery provided by Smile Train could completely change a child’s life. She sent off her birthday donation to Smile Train, but she wanted to do more....

So, she made a presentation to her 4th grade class. She told them about Smile Train and the children whose families and caregivers can not afford medical attention. She asked if anyone wanted to help her raise money--her goal was $250, the cost to cover surgery for one child. The entire class wanted to join her, and they decided to organize a bake sale. Avia and her classmates got to work. They sent emails to friends and family, posted articles in the school newsletter, and plastered the campus with fliers announcing the fundraiser and upcoming bake sale. There was a tremendous outpour of support as teachers, parents, and even the students themselves baked up goodies by the dozen.

(Adorable smiley face and frog decorated cupcakes are only a small sample of goodies sold at the Nueva School bake sale.)

(The kids hard at work selling like crazy!)

(Counting, and re-counting the money...)

(Avia, above the word "Smile", and the 4th grade class of the Nueva School proudly presenting a giant check to Smile Train for $2,504.52.)

The goal was $250. Through two bake-sales, individual donations, and a lot of hard work, Avia and her classmates exceeded their expectations and raised an astounding $2,504.52! The children were thrilled that their donation to Smile Train would provide TEN children with corrective surgery.

The story does not end there.

CWDkids chose Avia and her classmates as the grand prize winner of our contest, and donated $5,000 to Smile Train on Avia's behalf. Thanks to Avia and her classmates, 30 children will have new smile....and a new life. Thank You Nueva School!!

We were so excited to inform Avia and her family that out of a few hundred entries, she had been chosen as the CWDkids Care Contest winner. Avia was at school at the time, but we spoke to her mother, Renee who was moved to tears, for more reasons than one. We discovered after speaking to Renee that our phone call could not have come at a better time for their family.

Please read our continued post tomorrow to hear their story...

3 comments:

Alex said...

Congrats from Smile Train on your accomplishments!

Amazing job Avia, the Nueva School, teachers, parents, & friends!! With the hard work of the entire 4th grade class, and the generosity of CWDkids, Avia & the Nueva School have helped over 30 children receive free cleft surgery. This will put not just a new smile on the face of so many children, but it gives these children a second chance at life. Avia and everyone in the 4th grade class - you are incredible role models and generous kids! Keep up the good work - Smile Train expects to hear great things from you in years to come.

Best of luck, and dont hesitate to contact us if you need anything.

Alex Judd
Donor Relations Associate
Smile Train
ajudd@smiletrain.org

Kim said...

Great job...

What a way to teach children to be caring and sensitive. I am sure they are very proud of themselves and will continue this trend for the rest of their lives!

Kim

Nancie Georgopoulos said...

Awesome and inspiring story! It's wonderful what can be accomplished when people join forcs to make a difference - no matter how young or how old! Congrats to Avia and all those who helped and supported her!
Nancie G.