VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. - Every three minutes, a child somewhere in the world is born with a cleft lip and/or cleft palate, according to Operation Smile. Tens of thousands of children born with the deformity will be left untreated. Often these kids are unable to eat, speak, socialize and smile.
Starting this weekend, a Virginia Beach photographer is hosting a series of photo shoots to benefit Norfolk based Operation Smile.
Operation Smile has helped more than 200,000 children with a cleft lip and palate since the organization began in 1982. The surgery is 45 mintues long and only costs $240 to do.
Photographer Stephen Kinstler realized the money he earned through photo sessions could easily pay for one or many surgeries. Now he's holding mini photography sessions. Each session is 20 minutes long and costs $120 each. All money earned goes toward Operation Smile. At the cost of $120 each, two of these photo sessions will pay for one surgery for a child.
"One in ten will die in the first year if they can't get that surgery done," said Kinstler. "So it's a huge need for Operation Smile to get out there and help these children that otherwise can't afford the surgery."
We asked Operation Smile co-founder, Dr. Bill Magee, what kind of difference this makes.
Magee said, "Without the generous contributions of supporters like Stephen Kinstler, we would not be able to provide free surgeries for so many children who are in need around the world."
For more information on Kinstler's charity mini sessions, check out his website here.
Kinstler will be offering four photo sessions over the next month on April 7, April 15, April 27 and May 4, 2012.
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