"Sometimes the universe has a much bigger plan for us than we can envision."
Kimberly Valentini calls it her "Oprah moment." Two years ago, this corporate executive decided to refocus her life and create an organization that would, 'change lives, one smile at a time.'
She did just that by founding Smile Network International. With the skilled assistance of 2000 volunteers, Smile Network goes into developing countries and provides free reconstructive surgeries for impoverished children with cleft lips, cleft palates, tumors and burn scars.
For a child getting the surgery, it's a life- changing event. Without it, many would be forced to hide from society. Yet each operation costs the Smile Network just $500, a small price to pay to dramatically improve the life of a child.
Valentini believes that "the biggest tragedy is not being born with a birth defect. The biggest tragedy is that they were born poor and without the kind of health care we take for granted in the United States."
So she volunteers countless hours to raise money and recruit more volunteers.
This year alone, Smile Network International will help 300 children around the world.
"We all have our calling. Sometimes we just have to listen to the whisperings of our soul."
Smile Network International