Operation Smile, an international children's medical charity, is dedicated to providing free reconstructive surgery for children who suffer from facial deformities, such as tumors, burns and cleft lips and cleft palates. SMLWC has been involved in this ministry for many years.
Gowns and Smile Splints
SMLWC members, as well as the community, sew hospital gowns and Smile Splints.
1 or 1 ¼ yards of lightweight cotton or cotton poly blend, in fun colors and prints, is used to make the gowns. A 10” x 15" piece of material like the above, is used to make Smile Splints to wrap around the child's arms to keep them from pulling off their bandages, as well as keeping the surgical area clean.
Smile Splints, as they are called, use tongue depressors to create the splint. One-inch pockets are made to hold the tongue depressors.
The gowns and Smile Splints are very simple to make. If you can sew a straight line, you can do this! Volunteers who wish to participate are given the material and instructions for the gowns and Smile Splints. Click on the links below to download the instructions:
Hospital Gowns (directions coming soon)
After receiving surgery, each child receives a Smile Bag, the perfect gift to cheer up a healing child. Smile Bags are filled with small personal care items as well as toys, stickers and a mirror to see their new smile.
SMLWC members collect and contribute small, lightweight stuffed animals (no bigger than 6"), thin coloring books, boxes of 8 regular-size crayons, small hotel bottles of shampoo and shampoo plus conditioner, (no conditioner only bottles), hotel size bars of soap, a small child's comb, children's toothbrushes, small not expired toothpaste, and children-size washcloths (no lotion or mouthwash please).
For more information about how you can help with Smile Bag items, please see our article on Help Us Collect Items for our Community.