As part of National Volunteer Week (April 15-21), Operation Smile has announced an international partnership with Hasbro, Inc. (NYSE: HAS) that includes an employee volunteer program, product donations and a $450,000 financial grant from the Hasbro Children’s Fund. This financial grant will support three 10-day mission trips enabling surgeries for children with facial deformities; it also includes funding for the training and education of local doctors, and funds to purchase specialized medical equipment and supplies. Hasbro is also creating a one-of-a-kind Operation Smile plush MR. POTATO HEAD for the children served by the organization, with a market value of $250,000.
Hasbro employees from China will participate in the Operation Smile missions April 26-May 7, 2007 in the cities of Hefei and Zhengzhou and will bring toys and smiles to the children awaiting surgery. A second mission trip in China will take place in November 2007.
“It is hugely gratifying for us to see companies such as Hasbro not only provide financial support to nonprofit organizations, but also to encourage their employees to personally get involved as well,” said Kathy Magee, Operation Smile President and Co-founder. “Through Hasbro’s generosity, hundreds of children will receive surgeries that will change their lives forever and for the better and the volunteers that go on the mission trips will be able to see firsthand the result of this gift from the company they work for.”
“Making the world smile is what we are all about at Hasbro and no organization better exemplifies that statement than Operation Smile,” said Al Verrecchia, Hasbro’s president and chief executive officer. “The joy of seeing a child with a cleft lip or cleft palate transformed into a child who can now smile for the first time is magical.”
This year Operation Smile is celebrating 25 years of changing children’s lives. The year will culminate in November 2007 with the World Journey of Smiles, 43 simultaneous medical missions in 25 countries with a goal of treating an estimated 5,000 children living with facial deformities.
The Hasbro Children’s Fund helps children worldwide triumph over critical life obstacles through “the gifts of hope, play and a helping hand.” Each chosen program has a mission to help critically ill, physically challenged, or at-risk children live happier, healthier lives.
About Operation Smile (www.operationsmile.org