St Chris students recently raised £450 for Smile Train, the world’s leading cleft organisation.
The charity was chosen by chemistry teacher Andrew’s Year 11 tutor group, who put together a Morning Talk for Years 10 and 11, which covered the medical problems and the work that Smile Train does around the world. The timing was opportune because World Smile Day was a couple of days later.
Andrew said: “On the fundraising day itself we gave a Morning Talk to the whole School and showed a section from Michael Mosely’s series Inside the Human Body about another charity’s work in India. Our goal was to raise £150 to cover the costs for one operation, but we didn’t realise what the strength of the response would be.
“We then held a cake sale and not only did several staff and many students bring in cakes and biscuits to sell, but they also generously donated their spare change or even more, so that by the end of the day we had raised over £300…enough for two operations.
“At this point I must bring to the fore Jed in Year 7 who asked me if he could sell any remaining cakes at lunchtime. By himself he set off around the School with a tray of cakes and a bucket, later joined by our Head of Events and Fundraising Tom Rice who was also a tremendous support for the cake sale. Together they raised an extra £30 that lunchtime.
“In the following Monday’s Morning Talk I announced that we had raised enough for two operations and wouldn’t it be great to raise enough for three! So I left a couple of buckets for any donations and by Thursday we had raised just over £450! This included another Year 7 student, Rachel, giving £10 of her birthday money on her birthday that Tuesday.
“Everyone seemed to enjoy the fundraising day and it felt like a very happy occasion indeed…certainly making World Smile Day something to smile about! It is easy to think that Year 11 students should just be focusing on their GCSEs, but in the midst of it all they rose to the challenge of doing some very worthwhile fundraising and we are very proud of how much was raised.”
Smile Train provides free cleft surgery and comprehensive cleft care to children in developing countries. Through training local doctors and empowering partner hospitals around the world, we advance a sustainable solution and scalable model to treat clefts, drastically improving children’s lives, including their ability to eat, breathe, and speak over time. To learn more about how Smile Train’s sustainable approach means donations have both an immediate and long-term impact, please visit smiletrain.org.