Smile Train, the world’s leading cleft charity, hosted an early birthday celebration for Celebrity Ambassador Marian Rivera at partner hospital, Philippine Band of Mercy. During the event Rivera celebrated with Smile Train’s local medical professionals, cleft patients and families, and engaged with media.
Rivera introduced Smile Train and the comprehensive cleft care services provided at the center to members of the media and supporters who accompanied her. “Marami pang batang ipinanganak nang may cleft lip at palate na nangangailangan ng tulong,” Rivera explains. She adds, “sa simpleng pag post ninyo sa social media, hindi mo alam, may natutulungan ka na pala.”
(“There are many more children who are born with a cleft lip and/or palate who need help. Just by simply posting about Smile Train on your social media channels, you will be able to help a child in need.”)
While one would normally receive gifts on their birthday, Rivera opted to give instead. Through her own initiative, she produced t-shirts with #YanAngSmile emblazoned across the chest—a play on her nickname and a word that can be associated with the cause she is advocating for. Rivera was able to sell 500 shirts, which will help 40 children receive free cleft surgery, drastically improving their lives.
“Smile Train is grateful to have an ambassador like Marian. She has been an avid supporter who goes out of her way to raise awareness for children with untreated clefts here in the Philippines and all around the world. It is wonderful to see her use her platform to support our cause and encourage others to get involved as well,” said Kimmy Coseteng-Flaviano, Smile Train’s Area Director for Southeast Asia.