Since 1992, Dr. William Davidson has used his dentistry skills to give back as a volunteer medical professional with Operation Smile.
Dr. Davidson, the chair of the Dental Council of Operation Smile, has volunteered his skills in nearly 20 countries across the globe, helping the international medical charity provide free reconstructive surgeries for children born with facial deformities, such as cleft lips and cleft palates.
To celebrate his humanitarian service and DentalPlans.com’s social media fundraising efforts this February—including matching donations, a Facebookcelebrity smile-off between Oscar and Grammy nominees, and tweeting what random acts make you smile during Random Acts of Kindness Week—we spoke with Dr. Davidson to find out more about his volunteer work with Operation Smile.
What countries has your work with Operation Smile taken you to?
I’ve been to nearly 20 countries around the world. I’ve spent a lot of time in Vietnam, and have also volunteered for medical missions in Brazil, China, India, Peru and Russia. It’s all been an amazing experience and has helped me become a worldly citizen and appreciate other cultures. With Operation Smile, it doesn’t matter what country you volunteer in when you’re connecting with others and helping people.
Who had the biggest smile after you’ve helped save a child’s smile; you, the family or the child?
The child, then the family, then me. Our work with Operation Smile changes the dynamics of everything for these children. The work I’ve done with Operation Smile is one of the most important things I’ve done in my life. There’s a ripple effect in helping these children, and everyone involved has a smile as a result.
What Operation Smile medical mission gave you the biggest smile?
On a medical mission to Bolivia, a baby was born with a facial deformity and unable to eat. We were able to create a feeding plate for the baby, helping the child take their first nourishment since being born. To save a child’s life, it was an amazing experience.
What would you say to someone who is interested in volunteering with Operation Smile?
Operation Smile has been a truly wonderful thing for me to be involved with. To change the lives of children in communities around the world—there is hardly a better thing you could do. One of my favorite quotes reads: “The only things really worth having are the things you give away.” If you’re a dentist and interested in volunteering with Operation Smile, you can go to the site, fill out an application and I’ll review it personally.
To help save the lives and smiles of children born with facial deformities, DentalPlans.com has teamed up with Operation Smile to provide free reconstructive surgery for children born with cleft lips and cleft palates.
And, all month long you can help.
If you are interested in volunteering on a medical mission, visitwww.OperationSmile.org to read more about Operation Smile and how it impacts the lives of children around the world. You can also join DentalPlans.com’s social media fundraising efforts or have your donation matched through our One Smile page throughout February.