Thousands of children around the world are affected by clefts lips and/or cleft palates. Furthermore, 93% of these children who do not receive surgery will die before their 20th birthday. None of these kids should be forced to suffer when there is a simple solution that only costs $250. Side by Side Smiles is dedicated to making a positive impact on the lives of children in need. For more information on how to donate, you can visit the bracelet page to purchase a handmade charm bracelet and learn more about the special meaning behind the jewelry item. We hope to motivate and inspire you to help us make a positive impact on the world.
Sanjana has watched her uncle struggle with his physical and mental disabilities throughout his life. She hopes that Side By Side Smile's holiday toy drive will help make this holiday season extra special for both differently abled children and their families.
"My Uncle Mohan was born with Cerebral Palsy, and although he is almost 60, he still has the mentality of a 4 year old little boy. He was and continues to be a significant part of my life, and although we do not have a typical uncle niece relationship, I have learned so much from watching him persevere through his struggles. Activities that we take for granted like walking and easily communicating with other are incredibly difficult for him, but that does not make him any less worthy of respect and love. Growing up with him as a part of my family helped me understand that there is stigma surrounding individuals with special needs, and often times it is especially difficult for kids to connect with others. However, different types of sensory and educational toys can help build children's communication, emotional, and physical skills. Our hope is that these holiday gifts will help make this holiday season extra special for both special needs kids and their families, and we invite you to join us on our mission." ~ Sanjana
Nandini was born with a cleft lip, and by the age of 5 she had received 3 surgeries in order to help correct her cleft. Now at the age of 16 years old, Nandini is thrilled to be able to help other children receive the same opportunities she was fortunate enough to have.
"As a co-founder of this charity, I have a personal attachment to the cause behind Side by Side Smiles. My family immediately found out that I had a cleft lip when I was born. However, I'm incredibly lucky to have access to the proper care and resources that were necessary to treat my cleft lip. After a few surgeries, I was left with nothing more than a little scar as a reminder of my cleft journey. Additionally, I grew up with a completely normal childhood, but unfortunately, thousands of children are robbed of this same opportunity. I hope you can find the kindness in your heart to help us raise money and awareness for our cause." ~ Nandini
"Currently both 17 years old, we have been best friends our entire lives, and Side By Side Smiles is our passion project. We hope to spread as much positivity as possible because everyone deserves to smile!"