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Helping Children Smile

Home > Sunshine Coast > Charity | Cheap
by Aunty Joy (subscribe)
I live in Nambour in the Sunshine Coast hinterland.
Published August 29th 2018
The story behind the cute purple op shop

If you've been op shopping in Nambour, you've probably popped into Helping Children Smile, with its purple awning and smiley faces. It's an old-school op shop, with hand-made price tags and mostly older volunteers, and is an Aladdin's Cave of clothes, bric-a-brac and books at unbeatable prices.

But it's worth knowing about the charity of the same name because it's a Sunny Coast original!

doctors; nurses; op shop; op shopping; Nambour; Sunshine Coast; charity; Philippines; cleft palate
Host communities welcome the Smiles team


MEDICAL MISSIONS Helping Children Smile Inc. have been sending medical missions from the Sunshine Coast to the Philippines since 1996. Since then, they have helped restore the smiles and change the lives of over 900 children.

doctors; nurses; op shop; op shopping; Nambour; Sunshine Coast; charity; Philippines; cleft palate
The surgical team at work


They provide reconstructive cleft lip and cleft palate surgery for Filipino children, sometimes adults, without any cost to the recipient and their family. This treatment is not available to many people in the Philippines due to poverty and lack of access to specialist surgery.

doctors; nurses; op shop; op shopping; Nambour; Sunshine Coast; charity; Philippines; cleft palate
Angelica before and after her surgery


All surgical equipment is transported to the Philippines by the mission members so as not to incur any costs to the host hospital, which offers the use of its operating theatre, recovery and ward beds. For example, in their 2014 mission to Legaspi, HCS transported 65 pieces of luggage, screened 65 children and operated on 59 children.

The children and their parents travel many hours to receive the free surgery. When they know a mission is coming to their area they congregate at the host hospital from many remote regions.

doctors; nurses; op shop; op shopping; Nambour; Sunshine Coast; charity; Philippines; cleft palate
Froilan Jr's mum keeps HCS regularly updated on his progress


The surgery they provide does more than repair the children's physical problem. These children would otherwise have limited opportunities to attend school and as adults, of finding work. After their surgery, they can look forward to a normal life.

doctors; nurses; op shop; op shopping; Nambour; Sunshine Coast; charity; Philippines; cleft palate
Cielo can look forward to a happy future


Helping Children Smile helps to restore smiles in more ways than one!

The op shop, at 33 Howard Street, Nambour, is the main fundraiser for the charity. With low overheads and an all-volunteer crew, most of the funds can go where they are needed most.

Balik Ngiti! It means "restore the smile" in Filipino, and is the motto of this wonderful charity.

Why not visit the op shop, or donate to the charity, soon?


Donations over $2 are tax-deductible in Australia.

Visit the website: helpingchildrensmile.org.au/

And find the op shop on Facebook: Search for Op Shop - Nambour - Helping Children Smile

Images: all photos courtesy Helping Children Smile Inc.



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Why? Op shopping for a very smiley cause!
Where: 33 Howard Street, Nambour 4560
Your Comment
What a wonderful story, Aunty Joy - I didn't realise that - thanks for letting your readers know!
by Elaine (score: 3|5597) 77 days ago
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