All Aboard the Smile Train

Every parent’s dream is to stare down at their perfectly formed newborn baby and coo and murmur every bit of soothing nonsense imaginable, but what if their newborn has a birth defect? It makes the child no less special, but sometimes, the world can be unbelievably cruel. The most common birth defect in the world today is the cleft lip and/or palate, a facial deformity that leaves the lip split and the roof of the mouth with a large hole. One in a thousand children is affected each year in the United States alone. It is believed that in developing countries that 165,000 children are born every year with cleft lip or palate, but this is much harder to determine because these children are often killed moments after birth or abandoned, left to the mercy of wild animals or the elements.

A cleft lip or palate repair surgery is one of the simplest and least expensive to perform, but most of these parents can’t afford to have it done, even though it would mean a better quality of life for their child. However, thanks to the generosity and kind spirit of the people who formed Smile Train, these children have a chance to go to school, to get a job when they get older, and to live a life without ridicule. Smile Train’s mission is to provide free surgeries and rehabilitation for children who cannot afford it any other way.  However, Smile Train cannot do it alone. They rely on the donations from kind people who believe in their cause. For only two hundred and fifty dollars, a child’s life can be changed for the better forever. If you believe in Smile Train’s mission and wish to contribute,  you can donate at SmileTrain.org.

SMMile Photography

Stephanie Michelle Muncy, started her own photography business “SMMile Photography” just earlier this year, and all ready is having success. Muncy runs and operates SMMile Photography by herself, without assistance for the most part. She does at times have an assistant at photo shoots however.

Muncy stated that she offers her clients multiple options, “Packages vary. I usually make a flash drive of all images and give a release form for a set price but other packages vary. My prints range from 1$-10$.”

It was Muncy’s love of photography that led to her starting SMMile Photography,“It started out just being a stamp I put on my photos so people couldn’t steal them and slowly grew into more. People started asking me to take pictures for them. So then it became my name. Then as I got more and more jobs, I turned it into my logo.”

When asked about who some of her clients have been thus far, Muncy replied, “War Torn Angel, a local band, will always be one of my favorite clients, they are some very talented musicians and i love traveling with them to shows. They were one of the first to ever hire me. I love them to death and thank them for supporting me and helping me get to where I am now. Also I’ve had many seniors in high school, along with couples and children from the area. It started out with friends and family then progressed much further.”

Within the next five years, Muncy hopes that SMMile Photography will grow, and that she will possibly have a studio. She takes great pride in the quality and affordability of her photography. She feels as though everyone should be able to capture a special moment in time, and she loves being the person responsible for helping them preserve that moment. Muncy said, “I am very blessed to be doing what I love. If you need pictures just look me up on Facebook.” You can do so by checking out the SMMile Photography Facebook page!