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Operation Smile fundraises at Five Guys

| Thursday, November 6, 2014

Today, you can indulge in Five Guys and not feel guilty about it, since every dollar spent will bring the Notre Dame chapter of Operation Smile closer to its goals. To help the cause, present the voucher, virtual or physical print, from the Operation Smile Five Guys Fundraiser’s Facebook event page to the cashier at the Five Guys Burgers and Fries at Eddy Street Commons. Five Guys Burgers and Fries will donate 25 percent of all eligible purchases to Operation Smile.

The Notre Dame chapter of Operation Smile was founded in 2003 and currently is led by junior Janie Zhang.

Founded in 1982, Operation Smile is a national nonprofit medical service organization that raises money to provide cleft lip and cleft palate surgeries for families who cannot afford the procedure, particularly those in countries without widespread access to health care, Zhang said. Cleft lip and cleft palate are birth defects that occur when a baby’s lip or mouth do not form properly during pregnancy. The national chapter of Operation Smiles also conducts research on the causes and eradication of the birth defect.

The Notre Dame chapter’s goal for this year is to raise enough money to provide surgeries for 12 kids with the condition, Zhang said. The cost required for each procedure is approximately $240.

Zhang said Operation Smile has been planning this fundraiser since September.

From 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. and from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m., Operation Smile club members will be stationed outside of South Dining Hall to hand out promotional flyers. The Five Guys vouchers will be attached to the flyers.

“It only takes $240 to provide a free surgery that will heal a child’s smile and change [his or her] life forever,” Zhang said. “It can be hard at an individual level to provide these funds, but collectively, as a student body and a community, we have the potential to change the lives of more than just a dozen children.”

Besides the primary goal of funding surgical procedures, another goal is to raise awareness for this organization, Zhang said.

“Even though we’re a representation of the national organization, not many people have heard of Operation Smile,” she said.

According to Zhang, Operation Smile is in the process of planning its first 5K race, Miles for Smiles, to promote awareness. Operation Smiles will also continue to hold its annual photo booth event for the spring’s Blue and Gold football scrimmage.

Aside from directly supporting the national chapter, the Notre Dame chapter also helps out in the local community, Zhang said.

“We’re volunteering at Center for the Homeless later this month to teach the kids about oral health,” she said.

“Set some time off today, make the trip to Five Guys and enjoy a delicious burger,” Zhang said. “All the while, you will help restore children’s smiles and shape their futures. Good food, good cause.”

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About Wei Lin

Wei Lin currently serves as an Assistant Managing Editor for The Observer. He served as the Photo Editor on the 2014-2015 Editorial Board. He is a senior Accountancy, Economics, and Chinese triple major living in Knott Hall. He hails from the borough of Queens in New York City.

Contact Wei