It has been a busy month for Ruel Foundation Give a Smile with surgery outreaches complete; one in Philippines and one in Fiji. You have been a big part in seeing over 40 kids with new smiles and it would not be possible with your support. Behind the scenes these outreaches take us far and wide to find the children who need help. Each outreach starts several months before it happens and involves meetings with governors, mayors and hospitals in the regions. We put the word out on the radio, on banners and use a combination of our database and visiting health centers to make sure these surgeries available to as many children as possible.
A week long fundraiser by Manawatu Westmount School has raised over $2,000 and will Give a Smile to eight children! The week aptly named a Drop of Sunshine Day, saw students get involved in water activies, sausage sizzles, zorb soccor and a balloon release, with all the events aiming to put a smile on people's faces.
I contacted Ruel Foundation five days before my flight left for the Philippines. Bags packed and ready to go, the ladies behind Ruel sorted my transfer, told me where to go from the airport and with that I was heading to Calapan City to spend a week with the Ruel Foundation Crisis Centre and Orphanage.
On the early hours of 26th December while most of us were sleeping and recovering from our day of 'over indulgence' in all the extra goodies that we enjoy at Christmas a very different day was unfolding in Calapan City. Our Ruel Foundation director was in the midst of yet another natural disaster - Typhoon Nina
It's amazing how just a little bit here and there makes such a huge difference. The odd 50c dropped in a donation box can quickly compound into enough to pay for a Cleft Surgery, or provide antibiotics for a malnourished child. The Ruel Foundation Charity Box programme was started by Johnny Gilchrist in 2006, Liz Yates then took over and tirelessly and more often than not single-handedly run the entire operation. Last year Liz stepped back and handed over her amazing work to our new Charity Box Hero - Margo Mossop.
A Bay man has seen first-hand just how life-changing cleft lip surgery can be and is now willing to shave off the beard he has been growing for three years to help other kids have a shot at a normal life.
Hamish MacMillan's daughter Emily, was born with a cleft lip and has had numerous surgeries to correct it. Oceanside Family Chiropractic owner, Mr MacMillan, said he was in his cricket clubhouse when he was asked what it would take to cut off his voluminous beard.
With a father in jail and a missing mother, Grace and Jems ended up in a child care facility in Silang, Cavite (Philippines). A history of family abuse fueled by alcohol has left these children broken... We will start the process of rebuilding their lives, filling them with love and acceptance, caring for them, educating them and most importantly, just being there for the long road ahead.
With dozens of worthwhile childrens charities in New Zealand, it can be difficult to choose which one is right for you.
Actually making the commitment to donate to starving children or abused children, or those in need of medical treatment is the most important factor in all of this. Which kids charity organisation you decide to sponsor is the easy part.
As part of the Ruel Foundation's charitable organization framework, we work extremely hard to provide the necessary surgery and support required for children suffering from cleft lip and palate, among other conditions.
Cleft lip and palate are birth defects where there is an opening in the lip and/or palate (roof of the mouth), typically caused by incomplete development during early foetal formation process. Normally the tissues that form the lip and palate fuse together in the second and third months of pregnancy, however in babies with cleft lip and cleft palate, this fusion process never takes place or only occurs partially, leaving an opening (cleft).
New Zealand boasts a number of kids charity organisations that help raise funds and awareness for a multitude of causes. Trying to decide which one to support can be a difficult task for some people.
Depending on your past and what you are passionate about, you may choose to sponsor a child in New Zealand with disabilities or illness, or those suffering from poverty or abuse. Perhaps you might like to help raise funds for children in desperate need of medical aid. Whichever cause it may be, there are NZ kids charities welcoming your generosity.