Creating Smiles, Improving Lives


My husband woke up at 5:00 am for an early case. He went downstairs to hop on the bus and as soon as they saw him, the bus sped off. Ha, ha, ha. It was a joke. The bus stopped, he jumped in and his day began. I wasn’t feeling very well—a little gastro-intestinal issue (is that TMI?)—so I stayed at the hotel. But my little sickness was nothing compared to what followed. I started feeling better, so I went downstairs and grabbed a double latte. I know that’s not the best choice for someone who is having stomach issues, but I’m an addict and I can’t live without caffeine. Anyway, I digress. I decided to go back up to the room to get my things so I could go to the hospital. I got in the elevator, pressed the button and a few seconds later there was a jolt. Yes, I was stuck in the elevator—as if the double latte I just chugged wasn’t enough of a rush! I’m claustrophobic, people, and this wasn’t good. I should have known better. This elevator did me wrong a couple of days ago, when I got stuck in it for fifteen minutes. Only that time I was stuck with people who knew what to do in case of an emergency. This time I was alone. I’m more of a “team” player, and if there are no teammates around, then I rely heavily on the kindness of strangers. A lone ride in an elevator is not fun for me in the best of circumstances. I need to know that if I get stuck, there is someone there to lift me up so I can bust through the ceiling tiles and climb up the elevator shaft like Bruce Willis. That’s how it plays out in my mind anyway. Instead, I panicked, sweated, my throat constricted, I pounded on the doors, tried to pry them open, and then thought to pick up the phone to call for help. This entire event lasted no more than five minutes, but even still, I think I’ll use the stairs from now on.

1 in 700 children are born with a cleft lip or palate

$250 covers the cost of one life-changing surgery

150 volunteers annually will change a child’s life forever

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Medical Mission Trips

Austin Smiles goes on 2-3 medical mission trips annually

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Our Local Services

Our local program support for children born with Cleft Lip and Palate in Texas

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