NEW YORK, Dec. 1, 2015 /PRNewswire/ -- In celebration of Giving Tuesday, Smile Train, the world's largest cleft charity, today will illuminate New York City's Empire State Building in its signature red and blue colors — the latest in a series of initiatives designed to generate awareness and funds to support children with cleft lip and palate around the world.
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American Supermodel and Smile Train Goodwill Ambassador, Christie Brinkley, together with Smile Train's Founder and Chairman, Charles B. Wang, will kick-off the ceremony with brief opening remarks, followed by the flipping of the ceremonial switch.
"We are thrilled to join with our great supporter, Christie Brinkley today in lighting New York City's iconic Empire State Building," said Charles B. Wang, Founder and Chairman, Smile Train. "On this important day of global giving, we hope to generate awareness – here in New York and around the world – of the issues faced by children living with unrepaired clefts."
"I am honored to be representing Smile Train at this special lighting ceremony — the culmination of many wonderful years supporting the organization and the tremendous work they do each day," said Brinkley. "Cleft repair surgery costs as little as $250, and the impact is life-changing for children, families and entire communities across the globe."
To ring in the 2015 holiday giving season, Smile Train recently launched its "Give a Smile, Get a Smile" campaign to help give smiles to children with clefts and, in exchange, help supporters get smiles of their own. Smile Train aims to raise enough funds to create 250 new smiles for children in need by December 31, 2015.
"Through our 'Give a Smile, Get a Smile' campaign and other holiday initiatives, we hope to mobilize supporters, new and old, to add smiles to our 'Smile Jar' and help transform a life in the process," said Susannah Schaefer, CEO, Smile Train. "Cleft is far more than cosmetic — it impairs eating, breathing and speaking, leads to social isolation and prevents children from fully participating in their communities. Through a simple surgery, children receive much more than a new smile but a fresh opportunity at a full and productive life."
New Yorkers are invited to share their photos of the Empire State Building illuminated in Smile Train's signature red and blue colors on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook using #EmpireStateBuilding, #GivingTuesday, #GiveSmiles @SmileTrain to ignite the global conversation about cleft lip and palate; and to encourage people to make donations this holiday season.
Today, to amplify support for Smile Train's cause, Christie Brinkley is launching The Holiday Smile Kit — a limited edition holiday skincare set and special offering from the Christie Brinkley Authentic Skincare line. For each set sold during the month of December, $50 will be donated to Smile Train in support of its goal to share new smiles across the world. The three-piece set includes the Recapture 360 + IR Defense Anti-Aging Day Cream, Complete Clarity Facial Cleansing Wash and Complete Clarity Daily Facial Exfoliating Polish. The kit will be sold exclusively on ChristieBrinkleyAuthenticSkincare.com for $79.
"The Holiday Smile Kit empowers consumers to invest in the gift of healthy skin this season while simultaneously helping to change the life of a child in need," said Brinkley. "I look forward to seeing how many new smiles this special initiative helps create across the world."
About Smile Train
Smile Train is an international children's charity with a sustainable approach to a single, solvable problem: cleft lip and palate. Millions of children in developing countries with unrepaired clefts live in shame, but more importantly, have difficulty eating, breathing and speaking. Cleft repair surgery is simple, and the transformation is immediate. Smile Train's sustainable model provides training and funding to empower local doctors in 85+ developing countries to provide 100%-free cleft repair surgery in their own communities. To learn more about how Smile Train's sustainable approach means donations have both an immediate and long-term impact, please visit smiletrain.org.
SOURCE Smile Train