Start a Club for a Cause

Rally your classmates to make a difference in global health right from your school. 

Video by Juan Jose Marin

Kicking off an Operation Smile club at your school is a natural way to get even more people involved and spread smiles in your school and beyond. But where do you start? Our longtime student volunteers — Nick Ciuffreda of New Jersey and Mara Dempsey of Virginia — have four pointers to help you build your legacy.

  1. Read the Club Starter Toolkit and reach out to your regional associate. The best place to learn about starting a club is by visiting the clubs page on this website and checking out our toolkit. Be sure to read through in detail and learn all the steps you need to take to get your club going. There, you can find the name of the Student Programs who supports club in your area. Make sure you touch base with this person so they can help with anything you need!
  2. Discuss starting a club with your school administration or student services office. Many schools have different guidelines and requirements for clubs, so it’s best to discuss starting a club with your school administration or student services office. Operation Smile Student Programs also requires that all clubs have at least one faculty or teacher to act as your club’s adviser. Find out what you need to do at your school and how to choose an adviser to make your club a reality!
  3. Contact your Regional Associate. Operation Smile Student Programs have Regional Associates, staff, who are responsible for supporting and guiding student volunteers and clubs in your area. Head to this page and scroll down to learn who your associate is and get in contact with them via email or phone call.
  4. Register your club with Operation Smile Student Programs. After you have approval from your school to start your club, don’t forget to register with Operation Smile Student Programs here. This enables our staff to have your contacts, when we need to send important club updates and reminders. Clubs need to register every year with fresh contacts, so that we can keep track of your club’s progress and success!