Operation Smile is proud to have one of the world’s largest volunteer networks — more than 5,000 medical and non-medical volunteers ready to share their time and talent to help children. In celebration of National Volunteer Week (April 15-21), Operation Smile will hold a Volunteer Awards Ceremony and reception to honor four exceptional volunteers with the following awards: Volunteer of the Quarter, Volunteer of the Year, and Lifetime Volunteer Achievement Award. The reception will take place on Wednesday, April 25, 2007 from 6:30pm–8:30pm at the Philippine Cultural Center located at 4857 Baxter Road in Virginia Beach, Va. Operation Smile Co-Founders Dr. Bill and Kathy Magee will present the awards to these dedicated volunteers.
Two Hampton Roads volunteers, Ann Campbell and Kathy Majette, are receiving Operation Smile’s Volunteer of the Year Award. Ann Campbell R.N., M.S.N., C.P.N.P., of Virginia Beach, Va., is a nursing educator at Old Dominion University in Norfolk, Va. She met and worked with Operation Smile CEO and Co-founder Dr. Bill Magee at Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters in Norfolk and wanted to volunteer with Operation Smile. She had always made a promise to herself to give back to others in some way and has a passion for children. Ann’s first Operation Smile mission was to Brazil in 2002. Ann says, “One mission and you are hooked.” She has volunteered on other Operation Smile missions to Morocco, Bangladesh, and Jordan. Not only has Ann served as a nurse volunteer on missions, but she has also volunteered for Operation Smile in other capacities. She has participated with Operation Smile’s World Care program as a coordinator and in 2005 and 2006; she and her family served as a host family for a World Care patient named Eman from Iraq. Eman and her father stayed with the Campbells several times while Eman received surgeries to repair facial deformities. Ann has worked hard on Operation Smile’s behalf to form a university partnership with Old Dominion University. Ann has joined Operation Smile’s nursing council, where she brings quality education to Operation Smile nursing volunteers through programs, including the Nursing Training Program, which is a new element of Operation Smile’s annual Physicians’ Training Program. Ann also serves on Operation Smile’s Speakers Bureau to build awareness for the organization. Kathy Majette, R.N., from Williamsburg, Va., a nurse at Riverside Hospital, joined Operation Smile in 1999 after learning about the organization through co-workers who were volunteers. Kathy immediately knew she wanted to get involved. Kathy has served as a nurse volunteer on more than 20 missions to countries including China, Venezuela, the Philippines, Belarus, Russia, Paraguay, Ethiopia, Ecuador, India, Morocco, South Africa and Honduras. As a volunteer, Kathy has served Operation Smile as a Pre/Post Op Nurse, a nurse educator, and is currently a member of the nursing council. In addition, she helps with local fund-raisers, plans social activities for Operation Smile’s annual Physicians’ Training Program, and serves on the organization’s Speakers Bureau to build awareness. Annually, Kathy teaches basic healthcare at the Mission Training Workshop for high school students who will serve as educators on upcoming Operation Smile missions.
High school student Jemma Wolfe, of Virginia Beach, will be presented with the Volunteer of the Quarter Award. Seventeen-year-old Jemma is a high school senior at Norfolk Academy. Jemma has been fortunate enough to travel, so Operation Smile piqued her interest in other countries and cultures. She has been volunteering with Operation Smile since seventh grade, participating in the Operation Smile Student Association “Happy Club” at Norfolk Academy. She has been the club’s co-president for the past several years. In 2005, Jemma attended Operation Smile’s International Student Leadership Conference in Williamsburg, Va., and then completed Operation Smile’s Mission Training Workshop in January 2006. She served as a student educator on a mission in May 2006 to Urumqi, China. After her mission, Jemma created a video that detailed her experiences in China and has presented it to countless audiences to raise awareness for Operation Smile. Jemma is currently on Operation Smile’s Student Advisory Board and has helped with several Operation Smile Student Program events in the Hampton Roads area.
Norrie Oelkers, R.N., from Morristown, NJ, is being honored with the Lifetime Volunteer Achievement Award. Norrie is a registered nurse and a dedicated volunteer for Operation Smile. Norrie began her association with Operation Smile in 1995 when she was on the Executive Board of the Delbarton Mother’s Guild of Delbarton School. She was the Parent Liaison for the Operation Smile Student Association, of which her son Ryan was a member. She began serving as a nurse volunteer on missions with Operation Smile in 1997 and has assisted on more than 20 missions all over the world. She has traveled with Operation Smile as an operating room nurse and clinical coordinator to Honduras, Bolivia, China, the Philippines, Ecuador, Vietnam, Cambodia, Venezuela, Nicaragua, India, China, Ethiopia, Jordan, South Africa, and Kenya. She is a major fundraiser with Operation Smile’s New Jersey Leadership Circle and also serves on the Medical Research Committee. In October 2006, Norrie was presented with the Humanitarian Award at the Operation Smile New Jersey gala.
About Operation Smile (www.operationsmile.org)
Founded in 1982, Operation Smile is a worldwide children’s medical charity dedicated to helping improve the health and lives of children and young adults worldwide. Since its founding, Operation Smile has treated more than 100,000 children with facial deformities and currently works in 25 countries: Bolivia, Brazil, Cambodia, China, Colombia, Ecuador, Egypt, Ethiopia, Gaza Strip/West Bank, Honduras, India, Jordan, Kenya, Mexico, Morocco, Nicaragua, Panama, Paraguay, Peru, the Philippines, Russia, South Africa, Thailand, Venezuela, and Vietnam. In addition to offering reconstructive surgery, Operation Smile provides education and training around the world to physicians and other health care professionals to promote long-term self-sufficiency. Operation Smile also provides a network of resources to assist families in the U.S. with children born with facial deformities. Accessed through the Operation Smile Web site, the network includes a listing of Referral Web Sites and a Physicians Resource List. Operation Smile has been distinguished by many prestigious awards, including the first $1 million Conrad N. Hilton Humanitarian Prize to recognize outstanding contributions made to alleviate human suffering.
About National Volunteer Week (http://www.pointsoflight.org/nvw/)
Sponsored by the Points of Light Foundation, National Volunteer Week is about thanking one of America's most valuable assets – our volunteers – and calling the public's attention to all that they do to improve our communities. National Volunteer Week began in 1974 when President Richard Nixon signed an executive order establishing the week as an annual celebration of volunteering. Since then, every U.S. President has signed a proclamation promoting National Volunteer Week.