Some Good News in Troubled Times
Few things bring tears to my eyes these days like watching the cheers and celebrations that honor COVID-19 survivors as they exit hospitals upon recovery.
If you haven’t yet watched John Krasinski’s web series “Some Good News,” created to help people through the COVID-19 pandemic, I highly recommend it. During the most recent episode, he showed the release of several COVID-19 patients from hospitals, who fought back against the virus and overcame it. Seeing the relief and gratitude the patients feel, the dedication and joy of the healthcare workers who care for them, and the excitement of the families as they embrace their loved ones for the first time in a long while – it’s deeply moving and inspiring.
This time of great tragedy and uncertainty has brought with it stories of incredible survival, resilience, compassion, and generosity from all around the world. That has been more than evident in being part of the Alliance for Smiles community during this challenging time.
It was just two months ago that we were ordered to “shelter in place” here in San Francisco, and while the initial order was set to expire in April, we had a feeling that it was highly unlikely that we would be able to come together in-person for our annual fundraising gala on May 2nd. While we truly had no idea if or how it would work, we had to move quickly to keep some form of the gala alive, while also being mindful about the importance of social distancing.
Through the dedication of some incredible volunteers (Mary Liu, Jean Rosenblum, Susan & John Dean, Cecile Chiquette, Karl Wustrack, and Anita Stangl) and members of the AfS team, we were able to recreate the most vital parts of the gala online through the virtual “Fund a Smile” campaign, an online silent auction, and a Zoom call, where we could all come together to celebrate from home, whether in our pajamas or our gala gowns.
Thanks to the incredible generosity and support of the Alliance for Smiles community, we not only met our fundraising goal, but we surpassed it and had the most successful “gala” in our organization’s history!
We’ve now raised over $154,000 to help children around the world impacted by cleft. We are preparing to undertake missions as soon as we can resume international travel again, and we are focusing on developing and delivering virtual education and training programs for our partners in the meantime.
Children around the world are still being born everyday with cleft anomalies, and cases are backing up while our teams are unable to travel. Families everywhere still need our help, and you have ensured that we are ready and able to assist them as soon as possible. We thank you deeply and sincerely for your selfless and unwavering support in helping us ensure we can continue our life-changing work.
With deepest gratitude,
Jessica & the Alliance for Smiles team