Note from Founder and Director Anna Lopes
Over 5 years ago I started Million Dollar Smiles with the simple goal of wanting to bring smiles to children facing life threatening illnesses. I began with a small group of volunteers and together we helped change the life of 10 families in our first year through our Travelling Teddy Bear campaign. After years of running numerous fund-raising events resulting in many smiles, we have grown into a group of dedicated volunteers who organizeevents to fund our gift-giving campaigns and special events.
A surprisingly wonderful by-product of starting Million Dollar Smiles has been the amazing volunteer community that we have built! These volunteers are not just great because of their fundraising efforts but also because they really roll up their sleeves and get involved.
Our very successful Summer Playground Build program entails teams of 20+ volunteers building playgrounds over a weekend in the backyard of our special MDS children.
We also get a huge turnout for our Holiday Bear Drive. Last Christmas over 120 volunteers took time out during the busy holiday season to help us deliver 4-foot Teddy Bears (each with $100 Toys R Us gift certificates) to children around Toronto and area. Each year we continue to surpass our goals of delivering smiles and hugs to our special MDS children during the important holiday season.
Our 3rd annual Halloween Gala Fundraiser at the Borgata Banquet Hall in Vaughan, ON was attended by over 500 costume clad guests.
While we also organize many other fundraising events throughout the year, we challenge you to take part and Plan a Fundraiser of your own. No event is too small and no amount of money raised is too insignificant to help support our efforts. We recognize that every penny saved is important and we ask that if you have any pennies or small change anywhere around your house that you consider donating to our Pennies for Smiles campaign.
I believe that in today’s world we are all rushing around trying to keep up with our many responsibilities and so often can take many small precious moments for granted, those simple moments that instantly make our lives a little brighter and richer. Taking the time to give and see the results of those efforts is a huge gift. With every smile given and received, our hearts gets a little stronger and in return only brings true happiness.
With warm regards,
Smiles and Hugs