Smiles to be Granted to Children Around the World
NORFOLK, Va.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--April 10, 2007--As part of National Volunteer Week (April 15-21), Operation Smile has announced an international partnership with Hasbro, Inc. (NYSE: HAS) that includes an employee volunteer program, product donations and a $450,000 financial grant from the Hasbro Children's Fund. This financial grant will support three 10-day mission trips enabling surgeries for children with facial deformities; it also includes funding for the training and education of local doctors, and funds to purchase specialized medical equipment and supplies. Hasbro is also creating a one-of-a-kind Operation Smile plush MR. POTATO HEAD for the children served by the organization, with a market value of $250,000.
Hasbro employees from China will participate in the Operation Smile missions April 26-May 7, 2007 in the cities of Hefei and Zhengzhou and will bring toys and smiles to the children awaiting surgery. A second mission trip in China will take place in November 2007.
"It is hugely gratifying for us to see companies such as Hasbro not only provide financial support to nonprofit organizations, but also to encourage their employees to personally get involved as well," said Kathy Magee, Operation Smile President and Co-founder. "Through Hasbro's generosity, hundreds of children will receive surgeries that will change their lives forever and for the better and the volunteers that go on the mission trips will be able to see firsthand the result of this gift from the company they work for."
"Making the world smile is what we are all about at Hasbro and no organization better exemplifies that statement than Operation Smile," said Al Verrecchia, Hasbro's president and chief executive officer. "The joy of seeing a child with a cleft lip or cleft palate transformed into a child who can now smile for the first time is magical."
This year Operation Smile is celebrating 25 years of changing children's lives. The year will culminate in November 2007 with the World Journey of Smiles, 43 simultaneous medical missions in 25 countries with a goal of treating an estimated 5,000 children living with facial deformities.
The Hasbro Children's Fund helps children worldwide triumph over critical life obstacles through "the gifts of hope, play and a helping hand." Each chosen program has a mission to help critically ill, physically challenged, or at-risk children live happier, healthier lives.
About Operation Smile (www.operationsmile.org)
Founded in 1982, Operation Smile, headquartered in Norfolk, Virginia, is a worldwide children's medical charity whose network of global volunteers are dedicated to helping improve the health and lives of children and young adults. Since its founding, Operation Smile has treated more than 100,000 children born with cleft lips, cleft palates and other facial deformities. In addition to contributing free medical treatment, Operation Smile trains local medical professionals in its 25 partner countries and leaves behind crucial equipment to lay the groundwork for long-term self-sufficiency. Operation Smile will commemorate its 25th Anniversary with a year-long, multi-faceted series of initiatives to promote sustainability and capacity-building among its 25 mission countries. The year-long anniversary celebration will culminate in November 2007, with the World Journey of Smiles, 43 simultaneous missions in 25 countries, with a goal of providing new smiles and new lives for an estimated 5,000 children living with facial deformities.
Hasbro, Inc. (NYSE:HAS) is a worldwide leader in children's and family leisure time entertainment products and services, including the design, manufacture and marketing of games and toys ranging from traditional to high-tech. Both internationally and in the U.S., its PLAYSKOOL, TONKA, MILTON BRADLEY, PARKER BROTHERS, TIGER, and WIZARDS OF THE COAST brands and products provide the highest quality and most recognizable play experiences in the world.
The Hasbro Children's Fund, which has partnered with 10 non-profit organizations across the globe, has dedicated more than $3.5 million from 2006-2008 for children facing critical life obstacles. Among those who will benefit from Hasbro's "gifts of hope, play and a helping hand" are many worthy programs that provide respite to terminally or seriously ill children; educational intervention for children at-risk; and basic necessities for children in crisis.
CONTACT: For Operation Smile
Lisa Jones, 757-321-3252
For Hasbro Children's Fund
Dawn Wilcox, 310-496-4453
SOURCE: Hasbro, Inc.