The Smile Rescue Fund for Kids provides funding to children born with severe facial and craniofacial deformities so significant that they cannot be helped by their families, governmental agencies and currently established charitable organizations.

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About Smile Rescue Fund for Kids

In May 2011, Leon Klempner founded the Smile Rescue Fund for Kids, a charity that provides funding to children born with facial and craniofacial deformities so severe they cannot be helped by their families, governmental agencies or established charitable organizations.

After years of volunteering with the large international charities that provides cleft palate surgery to children in need, Leon recognized that during every mission, children with very severe cases were not receiving the help they needed, simply due to insufficient funding. It was more efficient to treat many children with milder cases than a very few who were severe. It was frustrating and sad for him, so he decided to take action.

That’s when Leon founded the Smile Rescue Fund for Kids. Leon’s vision is a society where all children, anywhere in the world, have the opportunity to develop to their full potential. As he says, “every child deserves a chance.”
The Smile Rescue Fund for Kids takes us one step closer to this goal.

That’s when Leon founded the Smile Rescue Fund for Kids. Leon’s vision is a society where all children, anywhere in the world, have the opportunity to develop to their full potential. As he says, “every child deserves a chance.” The Smile Rescue Fund for Kids takes us one step closer to this goal.

Since then he has been fundraising, networking, building teams and negotiating visas, all in an effort to provide the medical care for one child, a girl named Saline from a remote village in Kenya. In May 2013 he finally secured the funding and approval needed to bring her to the United States for treatment by the craniofacial team at Stony Brook University Hospital, of which he is a member. Saline has been undergoing surgeries throughout the summer of 2013 and has two more to go in early 2014, after which her facial deformities will be largely corrected. He plans to repeat this process, and scale it up, so he can help more children that have no other place to turn for support.

Leon’s vision for SRFK has since expanded. The team is now working to provide clean water, solar power and educational opportunities to the children of Saline’s village: God Ong’eche. At the same time, he’s already working on placing two additional children with medical teams around the world who will provide the surgeries these children need to lead normal, healthy and productive lives.  Jane and Chuasika were both rejected by other charity groups and identified by local peace corp volunteers.  The had heard about Dr. Klempner and the Smile Rescue Fund and contacted him for help.

Clean Water

In late 2013 we were able to supply seven 5,000 litre water tanks to the village of God Ong’eche.  These containers are used to harvest rainwater that can be used as sanitary drinking water, as the current sources are contaminated and lead to infections like Saline contracted (NOMA). 

Solar Power

The solar committee has provided funding for 214 solar lamps, helping to light the homes of school aged children in God Ong’eche. The previous alternative is  using kerosene lamps, which are widely used for evening lighting in rural areas Africa where electrical distribution is not available. Using kerosene for lighting is extremely inefficient, dangerous and expensive, and it has extensive health and environmental drawbacks.  The average family spends almost 1/2 of their money to purchase kerosene.  As with all of our projects, we wanted to create a sustainable protocol for providing additional solar lamps.  Recipients are asked to make a small one time contribution which will be used to sustain the initiative.The World Bank estimates that breathing kerosene fumes is the equivalent of smoking two packets of cigarettes a day and two-thirds of adult females with lung cancer in developing nations are non-smokers. Source: BBC News

Educational Opportunities

The goal of the education committee is to assist with a sustainable program for the mentally and physically challenged students in their village schools, helping to create a better educational experience for these children whose educational needs are not typically addressed. To date we have provided seven custom wheelchairs to enable these children to attend school.  In addition, making available materials for students to learn a trade, and also providing wheelchairs to children that have difficulty coming to school each day were among the goals accomplished by this sub committee of Smile Rescue Fund for Kids.  The team is making use of six manually powered sewing machines so the children can learn a useful vocation. SRFK has provided cloth material, sewing needles, buttons and other supplies to hand manufacture school uniforms.  As with all projects, the team create a sustainable protocol so the community would not be dependent on charitable donations: uniforms can be manufactured and sold at a lower cost than is currently available and the profit will be used to purchase additional sewing machines, materials and supplies.

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