Hello and a very warm welcome to my newly relaunched blog. I'm Paul a 40 year old family man from the UK. In this complex, information overload 21st century world, too often we lose sight of what's really important. Here I want to celebrate life, share inspirational stories, throw the spotlight on charities and causes close to my heart. Looking forward to sharing this journey with you all.

Thursday, 13 May 2010

Smiles that can change our world!

No matter what kind of day I've had, there's one thing that's always guaranteed to bring on instant happiness.

Every time I see my little boy's face light up with wonder, beaming a huge smile back at me, suddenly all the troubles of the world just melt away.

So continuing on that theme here's three very special charities which I would like to bring to your attention


1) Miles of smiles http://miles-of-smiles.org.uk/

You may well have seen the link on the right hand side of this blog as I first featured this charity a month or so ago after a fellow writer on dooyoo told me all about it as it provides much needed care for her grandson.


Kent Kids Miles of Smiles was founded in March 1993, with the sole aim of spreading some sunshine into the lives of sick and disabled children. It's a small regional British charity that has really struggled for funding during the recession, so I'm more than happy to give it any extra promotion that I can.



The lady in question kindly gave me her permission to publish an extract from the deeply moving message she wrote to me - I think you'll agree it's much more powerful and personal than anything I could write here myself

"I just wanted to mention a charity very close to my heart, Kent Kids, Miles of Smiles. They are a Kent based children's charity, who have supported my young grandson, Miles Griffiths, for over 18 months. Miles was born with spastic quadriplegia, he is 8 this year but cannot sit, mobilise, speak or even swallow due to his condition.

He is fed via a jejunostomy tube into his bowel (as his stomach does not work) and his care needs are so great that my daughter was unable to continue caring for him at home. She has two other children and was becoming ill with the sheer hard work involved after 6 years care giving with little or no help.

We try to do our bit for the charity and support their fundraising ventures, but as you can imagine the current recession has hit the charity's donations very hard. If you would consider highlighting Kent Kids on your blog, I would be very grateful."

2) A smile for a child

http://www.asmileforachild.org/index.html

The second charity I want to highlight today is another very small UK charity which supports disabled and disadvantaged children to get into sporting activities in their communities. I'm a great believer in the benefits of sport and making all sports universally accessible, so although I've only just found out about them it really is a cause close to my heart and I'll certainly be looking to get actively involved with them in the coming weeks, months and years.

Charity Information

The Aims of the charity are to provide grants for disabled and disadvantaged children, to allow them to participate and progress in sport, this can be to a Club, an Organisation or to an individual child.

This could be funds for a sports wheelchair for a disabled child, to sports equipment for a club or organisation.

http://www.justgiving.com/asmileforachild/donate


3) The Smile Train - changing the world one smile at a time

And finally, a way that you can literally help put a smile back on a child's face with a global charity appeal on behalf of the world's leading Cleft Lip and Cleft Palate charity

http://www.smiletrain.org/

From the site

"Unlike many charities that do many different things, The Smile Train mission is focused on solving a single problem: cleft lip and palate.


Clefts are a major problem in developing countries where there are millions of children who are suffering with unrepaired clefts. Most cannot eat or speak properly. Aren’t allowed to attend school or hold a job. And face very difficult lives filled with shame and isolation, pain and heartache.

The good news is every single child with a cleft can be helped with surgery that costs as little as $250 and takes as little as 45 minutes."

One of the featured stories:

"Nicholas’ parents were distraught when they saw their son’s cleft deformity and were too embarrassed to bring him out in public. They hid Nicholas from friends and family, caring for him in seclusion in their tiny home, in a poor, slum area of Venezuela. His parents were overcome with guilt for having to hide Nicholas, knowing that they could never afford to pay for surgery.


One day, they heard a radio announcement that Hospital de Especialidades Pediatricas was performing surgeries for children born with cleft deformities and that the cost of the surgeries was being covered by The Smile Train.

It took them an entire day by bus to get to the hospital, but their trip was well worth it. Soon after they arrived, they received the wonderful news that Nicholas would receive free surgery. The surgery was a success and now the whole family is overcome with happiness and smiles!"

                                                       After surgery!

If you would like to make a donation, remember $250 pays for surgery for one child but any amount would be gratefully received

https://secure2.convio.net/st/site/Donation2?idb=0&df_id=1020&1020.donation=form1&s_src=generaldonation&JServSessionIdr004=ri8bjemls1.app207b

It's a longer term target, but for my own part , I'm aiming to put aside up to £50 a month of future online earnings for the charity, so that hopefully I can reach the target within a few months.
To have the chance to literally change a child's life for a couple of hundred dollars is quite something I'm sure you'll agree - thanks to the work of charities like these, so many more parents will get to experience the indescribable joy of seeing their little ones smile.

Thank you as ever for reading, and please stay in touch!


16 comments:

  1. What a wonderful idea and blog! There should be more focus like this around the internet; it'd be a much better place. :)

    Wishing you well! (Found you through Glynis.)

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  2. Much appreciated Janna,
    it can be difficult sometimes with all the quick buck, scam merchants out there across the internet, but one thing that has really encouraged me since I started this is just how many inspiring and genuine people and causes there really are out there - the human network at it's very best is an amazing thing!

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  3. Thanks for bringing wide, wide smiles into the lives of so many. I takes a big heart like yours to reach out.

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  4. Thanks sunshine girl - there really is a lot for me to smile about, especially with all the inspiring people out there supporting me!

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  5. Hi Paul! Many times, more than money, people need one single smile! I even believe that a simple smile can brings the sun to one's live, sometimes! Many people need, besides basic care, of course, attention and love. So, who can't contribute with money, can give few hours of affection and caress, only!
    Congratulations for your blog and iniciative of spreading this idea throughout the internet!
    Below is a very interesting site from Brazil, it's called "Doctors of Happiness" and they act as clowns mainly in hospitals where children are in treatment:
    http://www.doutoresdaalegria.org.br
    Have a nice weekend and big smile to you ;o)

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  6. Paul-tossing a big smile your way for your kind heart and for all the amazing people involved in these wonderful works.

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  7. This is a fantastic blog. Bookmarked for future reading. I shall check out those links now :o)

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  8. Hi, keep up with all the good work, I have given you a blog award!- come and claim it on my blog... =)

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  9. OK Paul. Find my email address on my author site. Email me your address and I will send you a few handmade cards to sell (it will take a few weeks). Not much I am afraid, but I have donated all spare cash to my daughter's causes.

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  10. Thanks Vania, I've taken a look at the Doctors for Joy site - what a great initiative that is!

    Always appreciate your smiley picture and the visits!!

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  11. Thanks Marty, your smile is always welcome here!

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  12. Thanks Cambridge Lady - good to see you in the blogging world!

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  13. Thanks very much Chester rose - a first blog award - wow!

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  14. Cheers Mr Monkey - always appreciate your support!

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  15. Nice one Glynnis - I'll be in touch!

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Hi, this blog is all about sharing ideas and feedback - would love to hear from you!