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Longtime Operation Smile Supporter Recognized for Outstanding Contributions to Humanity: Personal Experience Is Motivation for Her Philanthropic Efforts

(PRWEB) September 19, 2013

“I believe I was saved so that I could in turn help those in need,” Professor Alice Chiu gently remarked while reflecting on her recent honor for “Outstanding Contributions to Humanity” presented by the USA International Culture and Science Academy*.

Alice Chiu knows firsthand the pain of helplessness. When she was six years old her father and eldest brother fled from the family’s home in Canton to Hong Kong amid political changes and turmoil. The rest of the family was to follow, but when the plan failed and Alice’s mother was forced to pick only two children to take across, Alice and her eight year old brother were left behind. For five years they struggled to survive off peanuts and water. It wasn’t until Alice’s school teacher, who tirelessly fought authorities, succeeded at reuniting the family in Hong Kong in 1956.

Prof. Chiu remembers the feeling of being powerless to change her circumstances, and recalls committing then to a life dedicated to helping others in need. She has since contributed to countless charitable efforts worldwide, including Operation Smile where her support has proved instrumental in the organizations enduring success in China and many countries around the world. Operation Smile has carried out more than 141 medical missions in 70 sites in China, and has provided over 23,000 free surgeries for children suffering with cleft lips, cleft palates and other facial deformities. Every three minutes a child is born with a cleft. One in 10 of those children will die before their first birthday. The children who survive are often unable to eat, speak, socialize or smile. In some places, they are shunned and rejected. And in too many cases, their parents can't afford to give them the surgeries they need to live a productive life.

“Professor Chiu has been the driving force in the economic transformation of Operation Smile’s work in China and around the world,” said Dr. Bill Magee, CEO and Co-Founder of Operation Smile. “Passionate and progressive advocates like Professor Chiu allow us to expand our global partnerships and broaden our impact. We are eternally grateful for her selfless work,” Dr. Magee added during the awards presentation in New York on September 13. “It’s evident through Professor Chiu’s charitable endeavors that she has never lost sight of her roots,” said Dr. Magee.

Since pairing up with Operations Smile in 1991, Professor Chiu, who serves as the Vice Chairman of Operation Smile’s China Medical Mission, has raised over 10 million dollars for the international children’s medical charity. Her fundraising efforts have supported the construction of Operation Smile China’s first hospital in Hangzhou, and the organizations new Global Headquarters (slated to open next month in Virginia), among other projects.

Photo attached for media:
Pictured at Friday’s awards ceremony from L to R: Dr. Bill & Kathy Magee, Co-Founders of Operation Smile; Prof. Alice Chiu, Vice Chairman of Operation Smile’s China Medical Mission; Louis Chiu, Prof. Chiu’s husband.

About Operation Smile (
Operation Smile, headquartered in Norfolk, Virginia, is an international children’s medical charity with a presence in more than 60 countries, whose network of more than 5,400 medical volunteers from over 80 countries is dedicated to helping improve the health and lives of children. Since its founding in 1982, Operation Smile has provided more than 3.8 million healthcare evaluations and conducted over 200,000 free surgeries for children and young adults born with cleft lips, cleft palates and other facial deformities, as well as patients suffering from burns. To build long-term self-sufficiency in developing countries, Operation Smile trains doctors and local medical professionals in its partner countries so they are empowered to treat their own local communities, donates medical equipment and supplies, and provides year-round medical treatment through its worldwide Comprehensive Care and Training and Treatment Centers.

About Operation Smile China Medical Mission
Operation Smile China Medical Mission, Ltd. volunteers repair childhood facial deformities while building public and private partnerships that advocate for sustainable healthcare systems for children and families in China. Operation Smile’s China Medical Mission is part of a global alliance of Operation Smile foundations and chapters dedicated to providing free treatment to children suffering from cleft lips and cleft palates.

*The award was presented by the USA International Culture and Science Academy in conjunction with the Asia-Pacific Outstanding Genius Leadership Foundation.

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