Our Child Life Therapy areas are a unique feature of Operation Smile medical missions. Smile Dolls are used by Child Life therapists to help alleviate fear of the unknown while communicating about upcoming medical procedures. Students who make Smile Dolls are directly helping our medical volunteers assist children waiting for surgery around the world.
Smile Dolls of all shades of skin-toned fabric are needed. Our international medical missions take place all over the world – from South America, Europe, to the Middle and Far East. Fabric in white, muslin, tan and light brown can be used. Do not use dark brown or black fabric. Download the information packet below.
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. We need students to collect personal care items and sew cloth Smile Bags.
Quilts, Blankets and Afghans
Students can help craft blankets, sew quilts or knit/crochet afghans. This project is a wonderful way to provide warmth and comfort for our patients worldwide.
Child Life Therapy Supplies
We are always in need of toys that have a wide appeal for a range of ages and abilities. We encourage the donation of toys that are novel, sustain interest and have inexhaustible imaginative potential or multi-sensory involvement. Operation Smile looks for donations of toys that work effectively to accomplish diversion, preparation, support, expression and meaningful interventions as part of our Child Life Therapy program.
Student volunteers can help create comfortable splints to prevent children from bending their arms and touching their face. These simple arm bands help keep the surgical incision clean and promote healing of a child’s new smile. Smile Splint use tongue depressors to create the splint. Donations of boxes of tongue depressors are needed and can be sent along with the arm bands.
Medical Records Supplies
During each medical mission for patient screening, Operation Smile will set up a complete office for arrival at our host hospital. We bring everything we need for medical records – from ink pens to staplers – and many other assorted items that our hosts are unable to provide. Your help to collect and donate these items will help us save costs and serve more children around the world.