Clients Creating Change: Operation Smile, Kathy Van Zeeland

Michelle Oliver recognizes the work of Kathy Van Zeeland and her contributions to Operation Smile.

Lisa Lori is a mother of three boys Zachary, Luke and Griffin, each born with facial paralysis. This was the Motivation behind Operation Smile. Having overcome such difficulties with her own children Lisa decided to create change. With that idea in mind she turned to her childhood friend, Kathy Van Zeeland, to help; together with Kathys husband Dr. Bill Magee Operation Smile was founded.

Operation Smile is a mobilized source of medical professionals and loving hearts alike who provide safe and effective reconstructive surgery and medical care for children born with cleft lip, cleft palate and other facial deformities.

Both Kathy and Lisa started “The Three Little Bears” project, which was inspired by Lisa’s children and their courageous spirits. Each of these three plush stuffed bears is hand-delivered to the children who have been granted the gift of surgery to repair their smiles. These commemorative bears were made exclusively for Operation Smile and can only be received with the gift of a surgery, which costs as little as $240!

Michelle Oliver is lucky to call Kathy Van Zeeland both a client and a friend, and it is her selfless work with Operation Smile that has created change in the world.

To date, Operation Smile has performed over 225,000 life-changing surgeries all over the world. Separately, between The Three Little Bears project and fundraising, Kathy and Lisa raised $1.5 million – 6,250 smiles!

If you want more information about Operation Smile or would like to donate a smile, visit the charity’s Donation Page.