Things That Matter

He Underwent Nine Surgeries To Correct His Cleft Lip And This Boy Is Raising $100K To Help Correct Other Children’s Left Lips

A very sweet 12-year-old boy in Centerville, Utah has taken it upon himself to pass on his own success story to children in Guatemala born with cleft lips and/or palates. His name is Jeffrey Linton, and he wants to raise $100,000 that would all go towards helping 400 children learn to smile and be understood by their peers.

Jeffrey Linton is all smiles about his project to get 400 more kids like him to be all smiles, too.

Credit: John Linton / YouTube

In a truly adorable video, Linton tells his audience how he had to “undergo nine painful surgeries to get as handsome” as he is now. Uncorrected, cleft lip and palates can cause chronic ear infections, difficulty eating, drinking and speaking.

In the video, we see a series of baby photos of Jeffrey as his cleft lip and palate were corrected.

Credit: John Linton / YouTube

“My first surgery was when I was only 10 weeks old and it was just a lip adhesion,” Linton says int eh video. “My cleft was wide enough that they thought it would help my muscles adjust to the repair if they did it in two stages. So although my lip was pulled together, I could still stick my tongue out above it. It looked like I was sticking my tongue out of my nose and I hear that everyone got a kick out of that.”

It’s been a long journey for the child, completed with speech therapy, and now, it’s time for him to give back.

Credit: John Linton / YouTube

Jeffrey’s second surgery was when he was just six months old. “I had a hard time recovering and my parents had a hard time knowing how much pain medication to give me,” Jeffrey told ABC. “But I came out of it with a repaired lip. They fixed my soft palate at 9 months and put ear tubes in to drain all the fluid in my ears.” It was crucial for his parents to be able to work with doctors for many years to continue his treatment.

“I want you to think about what it would be like if you couldn’t smile. It would change your life,” he tells the camera.

Credit: John Linton / YouTube

He had to go through all those surgeries but now says he “can smile, I can eat and just be happy the way I am.” He goes on to tell us, very enthusiastically, “I can’t imagine what my life would be like if I didn’t have those wonderful doctors that could have given me the surgeries that I need and those same doctors are going to Guatemala to help kids like me.”

Linton reached out to the Hirsche Smiles Foundation, which goes to Guatemala annually to operate on kids like him.

Credit: John Linton / YouTube

The organization is entirely focused on providing support to Guatemalans. It coordinates plastic surgery, dental and construction teams to offer a range of services, including cleft lip and/or palates.

All the doctors and nurses pay their own way to get there, so all the money goes directly to medical supplies.

Credit: John Linton / YouTube

HSF only works because of the volunteer surgeons, anesthesiologists, and nurses who donate their travel expenses and time to these kids. Of course, HSF still needs to raise money for the medical supplies required to perform the surgeries.

This 12-year-old actually pitched Holiday Oil “and they went for it.”

Credit: John Linton / YouTube

They’re donating a portion of their car wash sales made on July 13th to Hirsche Smiles Foundation. He wants to raise $100,000 and says that “Holiday Oil has done their part, and now you get to do yours.

If you’re near a Holiday Oil, you can get a car wash on July 13, 2019, to help support the cause.

Credit: John Linton / YouTube

A portion of the proceeds will go to HSF, and you’ll get your car washed while you’re at it!

Even better, you can volunteer to help out at the car wash and tell your friends to show up, too.

Credit: John Linton / YouTube

According to Jeffrey, “You could help collect donations and drying off cars and things,” if you show up to volunteer that day as well. 

Or, you can donate directly to the Hirsche Smiles Foundation.

 
Credit: John Linton / YouTube

A donation of $250 will pay for the cost of one surgery, and 100 percent of your donation will go towards expenses for the hospitals and supplies. It’s a worthy cause, y’all.

READ: Spurred By Anger At The Trump Administration, One Latina Entrepreneur Raised $9,000 For Migrant Children

Black And Latino Neighborhoods Are The Most Affected Communities By Covid-19

Things That Matter

Black And Latino Neighborhoods Are The Most Affected Communities By Covid-19

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The novel coronavirus known as Covid-19 is still spreading in the U.S. and claiming lives. New York is the epicenter of the outbreak in the U.S. and the U.S. is the country with the most infections and deaths. At the time that this post was written, more than 1,583,000 people have tested positive for Covid-19 in the U.S. and more than 95,000 people have died. This means that about 1 in every 3 people infected with Covid-19 lives in the U.S.

Covid-19 is devastating the U.S. with more than 1.5 million people testing positive for the deadly virus.

The U.S. is the epicenter of the Covid-19 pandemic with more deaths and infections than any other in the country by far. The second closest country in terms of infections is Russia with more than 326,000 infections. A new study found that had the U.S. taken safety measures one week earlier, 36,000 lives could have been saved.

Black and Latino communities have been disproportionately impacted by the pandemic.

Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez represents one of the hardest-hit districts in the U.S. Her district is a majority Black and Latino district in New York has seen a devastating wave of Covid-19 infections and death. Economic inequalities have exacerbated the issues of Covid-19 and it is clear that it is having a deadly consequence.

Part of the problem is the kind of work and living conditions in these communities.

Latino and Black neighborhoods in New York are seeing infections and death rates disproportionate to the population within the state. As states begin to reopen, many Latinos are further put at risk. According to the LA Times, a large percentage of essential workers are people of color meaning that they have been putting themselves at risk during the pandemic. Now, more at being told to go to work while the virus continues to spread in the U.S.

According to data from New York, the rate of death for Latinos is 259.2 out of 100,000. This is second to Black residents experiencing 265 deaths per 100,000. For reference, whites in New York are experiencing a death rate of 160 per 100,000.

The trend of Latino communities facing a significant wave of Covid-19 is reflected across the country. According to The New York Times, Latinos in Iowa make up 20 percent of Covid-19 infections while only representing 6 percent of the population and in Washington state Latinos are 13 percent of the population but 31 percent of Covid-19 cases.

In late March, AOC called out President Trump’s lack of a response as setting the country up for thousands of preventable deaths.

A scientific study examined the Covid-19 response in the U.S. and how it could have gone differently. According to the study, had the Trump administration led and implemented social distancing measures one week sooner, 36,000 lives could have been spared.

READ: A Rail Worker Died Of The Coronavirus After A Man Who Said He Had COVID-19 Spat On Her

A 10-Year-Old Girl Sent Over 1,500 Art Kits To Kids Who Are Quarantining While In Foster Care

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A 10-Year-Old Girl Sent Over 1,500 Art Kits To Kids Who Are Quarantining While In Foster Care

@McDJohanne / Twitter

Talk about a girl with a big heart.

It turns out, kids have no qualms about leading the example when it comes to selflessness and kindness in today’s time of uncertainty. While so many of us bemoan our lack of access to entertainment, friends, and personal care, young generations are looking to offer support where they can. Just look at this 10-year-old from Danbury, Connecticut who understands the importance of empathy, compassion, and love during this time of quarantine.

She worked on a pretty big project to make sure kids her age felt all three.

Chelsea Phaire has spent her time in quarantine sending kits to more than 1,500 children in homeless shelters and foster care homes.

Phaire explained in a recent interview with CNN that she wanted to create the kits to give children something to look forward to and feel positive about. Phaire’s art kits include paper, coloring books, markers, crayons, and colored pencils. They are being sent to schools and shelters across the country as part of an organization founded by Phaire and her parents called Chelsea’s Charity.

“Since she was seven, she was begging me and her dad to start a charity,” Candace Phaire, Phaire’s mother, told CNN. “She was so persistent, every couple of months she would ask, ‘Are we starting Chelsea’s Charity yet?’ When she was turning 10, she asked us again, and we decided it was time to go for it.”

Set to enter the 6th grader this coming fall, Phaire and her parents launched Chelsea’s Charity on her birthday in August 2019.

At the time, Phaire asked party guests to donate art supplies to the charity instead of giving her birthday gifts. Soon after her birthday party, Phaire made the decision to use all of the donations she’d been given to send out her first 40 art kits. The kits were collected and sent to a homeless shelter in New York. It wasn’t long before Phaire and her parents set up an Amazon wishlist account for the art supplies.

Before the pandemic, Phaire and her mother delivered almost 1,000 kits to kids in foster care homes, homeless shelters, women’s shelters, and schools impacted by gun violence.

At the time, Phaire and her mother traveled around to give kids their kits in person. Since the start of the pandemic, however they’ve mailed the kits. “I feel good inside knowing how happy they are when they get their art kits,” Phaire explained. “I have definitely grown as a person because of this. Now my dream is to meet every kid in the entire world and give them art. Who knows, maybe if we do that and then our kids do that, we’ll have world peace!”