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How Filipino spirit inspired Operation Smile

MANILA – Operation Smile, a volunteer group that provides free surgery to indigent children with cleft palates, got its start in the Philippines 35 years ago and it’s the Filipino spirit that has kept it going.

Founder Bill Magee said Filipinos were thankful even if the group turned away 250 children during its early years.

“Even though they didn’t get what they had come to get, they were still able to say thank you for trying. It was so unique and it left such guilt that we ended up coming back,” Magee said.

The group now operates in 60 countries with 13,000 volunteers. It has provided surgery worth $ 240 (P12,000) to some 300,000 children. — ANC, Market Edge with Cathy Yang, March 6, 2017

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