Do Everyday Things with Free to Smile in Mind!
Free to Smile couldn’t be happier that there are so many easy ways to give that put no strain on our collective wallets (which, by the way, is why we appreciate your help in spreading the word so very much!).
These are just a few ways you can do so much while running errands, getting groceries and going about your day-to-day:
If you live… Anywhere!
Shop at Smile.Amazon.com
It is the same fabulous old Amazon you know and love, with a bit more heart! When you shop at www.smile.amazon.com (instead of www.amazon.com) you will simply add … a SMILE!!! We may be biased but we think that Amazon named their charitable kick-back program for Free to (wait for it) Smile! As they describe it, “You shop. Amazon gives.”
All you have to do is type that one extra word and Amazon will donate to your favorite charitable organization. And we hope that is Free to Smile!
When you receive the email confirmation of your best shopping decision ever—share it on Facebook!
And see, it all makes sense—you are giving back, you are spreading the word, and you are finally getting the 3D Bling Glitter Rhinestone Pearl cell phone case you have ALWAYS wanted (yes, it does exist!).
If you live in Ohio…
Enroll (or Re-Enroll) in Kroger Rewards
Do you shop at Kroger? Do you use a Kroger Plus Shopper’s Card? If so, you may register your card so Kroger will donate a portion of your purchase to Free to Smile. And rest assured, this will not affect your fuel points!
One of our volunteers recently alerted us that she had to re-enroll so that rewards from her purchases benefited Free to Smile. Here is how to do it:
- Go to www.krogercommunityrewards.com
- If you already have an account:
- sign in and scroll to the bottom of the Account Summary page
- click “Enroll” under “Community Rewards” heading
- when prompted to “Find your Organization,” search “Free to Smile”
- select our entry and click “Enroll”
Host a Fundraiser
Think of all the people you know. Your family, friends, coworkers, neighbors… What about people you know from sports, the gym, church… Now think of ways to gather, celebrate and give! Consider what a few of our very creative supporters have done:
- Bob, one of our constant supporters and volunteer, offered to paint houses in exchange for donations to Free to Smile.
- Darien, Delaney and Deanna, three entrepreneurial and generous tweens, sold lemonade, raked leaves and shoveled snow to raise funds for Free to Smile.
- Sixteen classrooms in a Columbus-area school “adopted” Free to Smile as part of a year-long service project and collected donations.
- Church members collected change during summer vacation bible school to sponsor cleft lip/palate surgeries.
Hosting a fundraiser doesn’t have to be an elaborate undertaking! A donut sale, car wash or even lemonade stand helps raise awareness and funds.
And we realize this may sound like an oxymoron… but a fundraiser doesn’t have to be a cash-only proposition! Consider the long list of items and supplies Free to Smile needs for each trip! From sticky note pads to medical equipment, in-kind donations make a significant financial impact on our operations!
Attend a Fundraiser
If you prefer to attend – rather than organize – parties with heart, check our website and Facebook page often! We like a party as much as the next person so we have as many as we can—from beer dinners to golf outings to an exclusive gala events you can have your pick, from low key and laid back to all out memorable!
Make sure to check upcoming events to find out about fundraisers our supporters host as well! If we know about it, we will make sure you do, too!
Get Your Craft On!
No-No arm bands are fabric arm restraints that help keep children from bending their arms and touching their face following surgery (tongue depressors are inserted into pockets sewn on the arm bands). No-Nos ensure the surgical incision is kept clean and promote healing.
What you will need:
- ½ yard of light weight fabric (cotton/blend materials in fun bright colors and prints)
- 60 inches of hem tape or grosgrain ribbon
- shears or scissors
- sewing machine
- sewing pins
Step by Step Instructions
- Print pattern on 11 inch x 17 inch paper.
- Cut a 10 inch x 15 inch fabric rectangle according to the pattern.
- Hem or serge to create a half inch finished edge on all sides of the arm band.
- Fold up 5 inches and pin in place.
- Across the fold, mark 9 one-inch deep pockets to hold tongue depressors.
- Stitch the length of each pocket.
- Cut two 30-inch lengths of ribbon or hemming tape.
- Fold each ribbon in half, pin to one side of the arm band and stitch in place.
Please ship No-No Arm Bands without tongue depressors inserted into the arm band. For your records, handmade No-No Arm Bands are valued at $2.00 per arm band.
Spread The Word
It is hard for us to hold back from telling everyone we meet about our patients, their families, our volunteers… We can’t help it. We are proud and humbled all at once. We are moved. And we hope those we talk to help us spread the word. Like Normund, Bonnie and Eric – our Portland trio who need a bigger venue each year to hold Free to Smile fundraisers as they add mission “converts.” Like Ana and other trip volunteers who recruit friends and family and keep coming back.
Because there is power in numbers. As passion and compassion spread, so do acts of kindness. And why not scream from the rooftops the happy news that you are changing the world one smile at a time? If there is any way we can help your voice be louder and reach farther, just let us know! Please share Free to Smile’s brochure, annual report, and impact fact sheet with everyone you know! Send links to our website, our GuideStar Profile, our Facebook page. When you receive an especially moving newsletter from us, forward it on. When you hear about an event that you know just the person to invite to, please do!
We also encourage you to share your experiences with Free to Smile by writing a review on GreatNonprofits, the leading online provider of reviews and ratings of nonprofit organizations throughout the U.S. Writing a review takes less than a minute and goes a long way in helping inspire and inform donors and volunteers to support Free to Smile, while also enabling us to show our impact.