A Message to PPA Members from Operation Smile's Co-Founder, Dr. William P. Magee, Jr.
Note: The PPA Charities Trustees received this email from Dr. Magee in response to a new PPACH fundraising project that will benefit Operation Smile; The first nationwide "Celebration of Smiles" promotion will take place on April 21, 2012, and you will be hearing much more about it soon. Dr. Magee will be on hand for the official announcement during the Imaging USA January 15, 9:00 A.M. program on charitable marketing, "The Power of Charity," also featuring Beverly Walden, Sarah Petty, and Mary Fisk-Taylor. He also will attend the PPA Charities Celebration gala on January 14, from 8:00 - 11:00 P.M. Don't miss either opportunity to spend time with this extraordinary humanitarian.
Sorry for the delayed response. I am in Asia right now and have not had good access to my email. I love what you are doing, and will send this off to Kristie Porcaro who is head of our Development and to Kyla Shawyer who heads our Marketing. They will know the best route to help you.
On this trip we were in the Philippines as we begin to help with the celebration of our birth there almost 30 years ago. Kath and I had the opportunity to be interviewed on a TV morning talk show, ABS - CBN, to share our message with the Filipino Community. As we left for the airport, they asked us to meet a 9 year old boy with a Cleft Lip and Palate brought to the studio by his Mom and Grandmother. He has never been to school. They live in Manila and yet they never knew that their child could be helped until recently.
Although we have watched this same story unfold over and over again, it never ceases to amaze me that this scenario still exists even in the major cities of the countries where Operation Smile has a presence.
With the help of our staff and volunteers in Manila, we immediately organised for the family to be helped at the "Makati" mission which will take place in a few weeks. That simple moment of kindness took all of about 5 minutes. Yet if Operation Smile Philippines didn't exist that "magic" moment could not have happened. We left that child, his mom and grandmother all in tears as they tried to thank us and as usual tears filled all of our eyes as well.
I am often asked why do we continue to push ourselves now 30 years later. At times it is difficult to put into words. However, probably the easiest way to explain it still brings me back to chance encounters such as the one that we had just a few mornings ago. That is what keeps our drive and passion alive.
However it is also the opportunity to work with organizations such as yours. Organizations who are willing to stand side by side with us as we plan the future. That is what gives us the courage to be confident that we will be able to keep the promises we have made to these families. The promise that we will do our best to be "present" for them.
Kathy and I thank you again for all that the PPA Charities has done and continues to do.
All the Best,
Wiliam P. Magee Jr., DDS, MD,