Charitable adventure.  

At the age of twenty-four, I’ve come to realise there’s seemingly a great many things in my life predominantly attributed to Facebook. Call it a perk of growing up in the 21st century, or perhaps the curse of a social media addiction – either way, when I think about how many of my life endeavours so far have started, the phrase “Oh, I saw this post on Facebook...” has become somewhat of a common thread. 

Sure, in it’s formative years Facebook was designed with the purpose to connect with love ones, and shamelessly spam their walls one singular reply at a time. But fourteen years onwards, it’s evolved into somewhat of a online marketplace and showcase. And I can’t argue that it’s not entirely a clever way of doing things in this day and age. 

After all, my puppy was discovered on a early morning Facebook post – and he’s the greatest adventure I’ve embarked upon so far. 

So of course, in-keeping with my Facebook discovery methodology, I happened to stumble upon another Facebook post about two months ago, which has since opened a door I’ve been debating how to unlock for a while now. 

It was a picture of a group of strangers happily smiling at the other end of a camera lense. Facebook proudly announced above the picture in bold, that someone I knew had been tagged there. 

I searched the faces and found a nurse I’d worked with for a few years now, hidden at the back. It seemed she had been a part of a trip somewhere, her matching blue shirt in keeping with the rest of her team. 

Curiousity getting the better of me, I clicked on the picture and zoomed in on the wording iron-pressed to the blue shirts. I typed the logo name into Facebook and clicked on a charity page for ‘Helping Children Smile‘. 

As I read the mission statement for the organisation, I immediately fell in love with its cause. I remember reading through the website feeling a familiar tug at my heart, knowing that this was something I so desperately wanted to be a part of. 

Helping Children Smile is an organisation that raises funds for ongoing mission trips to the Phillipines each year to perform free surgery for the children there born with cleft lips and cleft palates. 

They take a team of doctors and nurses to different parts of the Phillipines with each trip, and completely change the lives and futures of over 30 children in the timeframe of two weeks. 

With cleft lips and palates being heriditary – it’s become somewhat of an epidemic over there. And for the little ones who face a future of difficulties living with the deformity, surgery would otherwise prove to be too costly. 

Having watched a close family member experience the difficulties associated with being born with a cleft palate, and personally laid witness to the benefit surgery has provided, the HCS cause found a niche within the confines of my heart that day. 

Two months later, I am officially HCS’s newest member and somehow feel this was one of my best Facebook finds yet. I’ve always wanted to do more with my nursing, reach the furtherest corners of this earth, make my skills matter. But I’ve just never really known quite how to, perhaps until now. 

I’m not sure where it’ll lead me, but I know it’s exactly where I’m meant to be because it fits like a new piece to my puzzle. And to have the opportunity to make a difference in the lives of others? I really couldn’t have wished to have stumbled upon anything better. 

The next mission trip is coming up in February next year, so who knows, maybe that’s my next adventure? I’ve applied, so I’ll keep you posted on that one!

Nurse by day, HCS enthusiast by night. Nothing else has ever been more worth it if I get to make even the smallest of difference in the world. 

You can check out more about Helping Children Smile here if you’d like. 

And as for you Facebook, you may just be a social media website, but I have every faith that you hold the many more seedlings to sprout my next big thing. Here’s to the newest adventure!

d x