Tuesday, August 16, 2011


With all the technology that we use nowadays, it is actually so much easier to spread awareness and raise funds for Operation Smile! We want to present to our followers TWO new strategies that we are using to spread the word about OpSmile.

What better way to raise funds for Operation Smile than to advocate the organization on your birthday? Arielle is turning 18 on September 5th (woohoo!) and instead of asking for material gifts, she decided to create an official Birthday Wish on Facebook. For her Birthday Wish, Arielle asked all of her friends to donate $18 to Operation Smile's Official Cause! Facebook automatically puts "Top Donors" and "Sidekicks" on the sides of each Birthday Wish page so that people will be urged to donate more and more to the cause. She also created a public event to make her Birthday Wish more known to the Facebook community. If you want to create your own Birthday Wish for Operation Smile, make sure you create it several days before your actual birthday so your friends will have more time to donate! HELP ARIELLE REACH HER GOAL OF $240 FOR OPERATION SMILE (THE COST OF ONE CHILD'S SURGERY)!

Her Birthday Wish: Arielle's Birthday Wish

The Facebook Event: Birthday Wish Event

Another great way to bring smiles to children around the world is to create a OneSmile fundraising page.   From the Operation Smile website: This summer, join the ISCE OneSmile Challenge with other students around the world and create a personal fundraising page with a goal of $240 to provide a life-changing surgery for a child waiting for their chance to smile. From now until 3:30 p.m. EST September 1, share your OneSmile page with your friends and family to help provide surgery for children born with facial deformities. The top 5 fundraisers to the ISCE OneSmile Challenge will receive free admission to the 2012 student conference! (Travel is not included.)
Arielle just created her own OneSmile fundraising page! Please donate and together we can change the lives of thousands of children waiting for their chance to live a normal life. BE THE CHANGE!

With love,
Arielle and Alexandra

ISCE 2011

This year's International Student Cultural Exchange was absolutely amazing! As we stated in an earlier post, the student conference brought over 750 students from 23 countries to Beijing, China to enjoy new cultural experiences, grow as strong, dedicated, philanthropic leaders, and become inspired by those who came to speak to us. Fortunately, Operation Smile Student Programs is currently working very hard to keep this year's ISCE memories alive so that students can share their experiences with their friends and families.

Here are some ways that you can view the various aspects of the conference, connect with your friends involved in Operation Smile, and just follow daily updates on Operation Smile's social network profiles!

ISCE Blog and Photos

ISCE Keynote Speakers

Operation Smile Student Programs Facebook Group

Operation Smile's Official Facebook

Operation Smile's Official Twitter

With love,
Arielle and Alexandra :)

Top 5 Summer Fundraisers

There are a lot of fundraisers that work great in the summer. With the summer winding down here are our top Summer Fundraisers:

5) Frisbee Tournament-  Talk with city officials in charge of a local park, and ask if you can host an ultimate frisbee tournament. Get your friends from different high schools, and ask them to make teams from there school. Charge each team $5 per teammate, and sell concessions. 

4) Cashola Night- Ask a local restaurant or ice cream shop if they would help you with a cashola night. This means that on a designated night Operation Smile would get some percentage of their profit from that night. Then promote on Facebook, Twitter, and just about anywhere. 

3) Yard Sale- Have your club members send out a flyer to their neighbors listing a certain day your club  can pick up their old stuff for your fundraiser. Collect the stuff and start pricing. Then pick a date that works well (and maybe coincides with a neighborhood-wide yard sale) and start promoting that. Call the local newspapers to see if they have a section that promotes yard sales, and let all your Facebook friends know. If you want sell baked goods.

2) Good Old Fashioned Bake and Lemonade Sale- This is an easy fundraiser,  for it involves minimal planning. Find a busy place such as a back to school store, and make sure it is okay if you set up near them. With all that back to school shopping people will really need some lemonade or cookies. 

1) Car Wash- Make this the best car wash ever by finding a busy place to wash. Even try and get in contact with a local car dealership, and see if you can wash the cars in front of them.  Make sure everyone in your club brings something that will help, because this is a fundraiser that can cost almost no money for your club!

At all these events make sure you wear Operation Smile t-shirts, and have plenty of posters and brochures, so that everyone can know what a worthwhile cause you are helping.

We hope your try one of these end of the summer fundraising ideas, but you can always use them during the year.

With Love,
Alexandra and Arielle

Saturday, August 13, 2011

ISCE: The Great Wall of China

Here is Alexandra with our sponsor, Jen Ryan's, mom, Marjorie. Although Jen could not make it China, we had a fabulous time getting to know Marjorie.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Operation Smile: FASHION

Now is the time to rock some Operation Smile fashion! Believe it or not, it is possible to support Operation Smile through fashion! We would like to promote two clothing lines to our blog readers. Each of these designers sell items where 50% of proceeds made go to Operation Smile. Not only are these clothes extremely trendy and fashionable, but purchasing them also helps save the lives of hundreds of children with cleft lip and cleft palate facial deformities. Be sure to check out their websites!

Verana Summers was created by my (Arielle's) two friends, Julian Kahlon and Nick Hakimi, in order to support a modern style that takes all life styles into consideration. Their clothing line is special because it incorporates pieces that express the fashion of the 60s and 70s surf and music era, but can be worn anywhere and at any time. This spring, Verana Summers guaranteed their customers that 50% of the proceeds made from one of their tank tops will go to Operation Smile. Each tank top says: "KEEP SMILING... Helping children with cleft conditions everywhere. More than 200,000 children are born with a severe cleft condition each year. Verana Summers and Operation Smile will make a difference." Visit their website at V E R A N A S U M M E R S to buy one of these hot tank tops for yourself!

The KEEP SMILING tanktop:

Wolfgang Ballinger modeled the tank top at the 2011 Jr. Smile Collection Event in NYC:

And here, Keenan Lam dances with his friends while showing off the tank top:

Chloe Kimiabakhsh and Arielle support Operation Smile & Verana by wearing the tank to school:

Poseidon Apparel, a clothing company created by Alexander Bischoff, is dedicated to offering fashionable clothing to humanitarian-minded people aspiring to make a difference in the world. Bischoff was inspired to start the clothing line after embarking on an Operation Smile medical mission to Guwahati, India and seeing how cleft lip and cleft palate deformities can cause children to become outcasts in their societies. 50% of every purchase from Poseidon Apparel is donated to Operation Smile. These donations are then used towards life-changing cleft lip and palate surgeries. Check out the Poseidon Apparel's website at Poseidon Apparel!

Some of Alexander's amazing designs: 

We hope you look into these designers' websites and buy their clothing to support Operation Smile!

With love,
Arielle Sasson and Alexandra Spiegel

Tips on Starting a New Club

After an inspirational ISCE, many people are thinking of starting their own clubs. Here are some tips on starting a club at your school from Arielle. She is very knowledgeable, for she started TWO clubs in her area. Here they are:

1) You need to verify with your principal or school board that you can start an Operation Smile club at your school.
2) You also need to designate an advisor/sponsor- a faculty member who will make sure all the events and activities that your club carries out will work out successfully and abide by your school's rules. 
3) You definitely need a group of officers as well- I suggest nominating students from different grades so that when you leave high school, some of those experienced officers will be able to take over with ease. 
4) Make sure to fill out and send in the Registration and Contact Verification Forms to Operation Smile so they can keep you updated of future events. 
5) Spread the word to fellow students at your club or activities fair at your school- try to have a table and bring pictures/posters of the patients, tell them that a surgery is only $240 and takes 45 min. 
6) Keep people interested and involved by starting a group on Facebook, emailing any club updates to all your new members, and constantly making announcements on the loudspeaker. 

Let us both know if you have questions. We hope your Operation Smile club will start making a change immediately, but we know that it may take time. If you are starting to get discouraged check out  http://www.operationsmile.org/oscentral/ . This useful tool is OS Central, full of great advice for everything. From fundraisers to information about other events, this is a great tool for everybody to use.

With Love,
Alexandra and Arielle

The Blog is Back

We are glad to have our blog back up. Our mission was almost a year ago, and we both miss it so much. Fortunately, we both were reunited at Operation Smile's International Student Cultural Exchange or ISCE. Along with friends from over 23 other countries, we were able to learn about other cultures, and ultimately ourselves. This was a great experience for us both. We were able to meet new friends, and solidify relationships we had already made. Of course, we also were able to see each other. We always talk about the fact that neither one of us knew each other before our mission. Alexandra had met our sponsor, Jen, briefly in Denver, while Arielle knew neither one of them. It is so great that the three of us were able to mesh the way we did. We had an awesome experience, which would not have been complete without the camaraderie from the student team and our whole mission team. We will be posting fun updates about our clubs, our regions, or just Operation Smile in general. Here is a quick club update: Alexandra is hoping to bring new ideas to her current club, while Arielle will be joining the club at Barnard, and hoping to make it a very successful. We would be happy to answer any questions you have, so if you have any, please comment on this blog. We hope you have missed reading our blog, like we have missed writing it.

With Love,
Alexandra and Arielle

Mission Photos

These are some photos from our mission-







2011 Evening of Smiles Event

Show your support for Operation Smile by buying tickets to the 2011 Evening of Smiles Event! This is the third year that teens and adults from the NYC and Hamptons area are hosting this event to raise funds and awareness for the children of Operation Smile. The event includes a premiere cocktail event and specialty live auction; Ryan Slolnick will be djing and IYAZ will be singing!! The price of 1 adult ticket to the event is $240- the cost to repair one child's cleft lip or cleft palate deformity. The event will be held on Saturday, August 20, 2011 from 7 PM to 10 PM at the Axe Lounge at Dune. More details and the link to purchase tickets can be found here: 2011 Evening of Smiles Event.

My good friend, Danielle Winick chairs the event, and it always turns out to be amazing. I (Arielle) went to the event last year and was blown away because Shwayze performed for us! Everyone should go if they have the chance... BE THE CHANGE!