Operation Smiles raises money with chocolate bars


Hunter Hammett

Officers of Operation Smiles sell chocolate bars to raise money for their organization. The fundraiser ends this week with a total amount of $2100 raised.

Operation Smiles, an organization run by Perry students, is a foundation whose main purpose is to raise awareness for children with cleft lips and palates who need surgery. Cleft lips and palates are openings from the mouth into the nose. This foundation raises money to help the families who have this issue and need help.

Many students are a part of this organization, ranging from the ages all throughout high school. One of the founders of this organization, Miri Chan, discusses the organization. She explains, “Our club is one chapter of the Operation Smile student programs and we are one of the only active clubs in Arizona.” 

To raise money, they sell chocolate bars for $1 each around the schools which is their biggest fundraiser, currently called the World’s Finest Chocolate. In addition to the candy bars, Chan states that they hold many fundraisers, “We do homecoming carnivals to raise money, we make sock puppets for speech pathology patients after surgery, we do restaurant nights.” 

Senior, Tina Ton, explains how she has been treasurer of the club since it was founded in fall of 2018. She explains exactly how cleft lips and palate is harmful to children. “Both of those difficulties makes it very hard to eat, drink and even breathe at times which is why these surgeries can save lives.” These students are doing amazing work, saving one child at a time. 

By having a teacher who is also very passionate about this topic and organization, it makes the club run smoother and motivates more people to get involved. Their teacher that helps them is Mrs. Bashford. By discussing this organization with these students, it is easy to tell how much they all love this organization and helping out. 

Hannah Hua, a senior and co-founder of this club, expresses how this club came about. She says, “This club first began in 2018, from an idea that Miri and I had on our bus ride home. We wanted to start a volunteer club that catered to helping those in need, but most were already at Perry.” Their main objective is to raise awareness on this subject, and help the children affected while still making it fun for their club members. 

Hua explains that, “Before the pandemic, we would meet on Tuesdays in room C115 with Mrs.Bashford. But since COVID, we have been staying connected with our members online through google classroom, remind and Instagram (@perryoperationsmile).” 

All three of the seniors have kept this club going for a few years now, and it does not seem like they will be stopping soon. Even through a pandemic, they have found ways to make this organization run, and for the club to stay enjoyable and interactive for the members. If anyone would like to become a part of this club, contact Mrs. Bashford or the clubs social media listed above, joining will be a wonderful opportunity to help those in need.