​Let's Put A ​Smile On That Face​​

​Let's Put A ​Smile On That Face​​

We all have the ability to make the world a better place for those who cannot; one kid, one cleft lip and one cleft palate at a time.


With all the different clubs and organizations around here at Illinois State, we miss a lot of really interesting and important services that students and others provide. When we enter into college we are given endless opportunities that we have to go out and find. Festival ISU is one big annual event that happens at the beginning of each new year. You get to see all the organizations that are a part of Illinois State, come together on the Quad to rally people for their team and get super hyped about the new school year! There are booths that cover the importance of mental health, bake sales, raising money for awarenesses and organizations that ultimately represent ISU and so much more!

Recently, I had the opportunity to hear about the organization, Operation Smile, from the President, Abbie Teeling. Then I was able to get an interview with Mary Moran who is a student, participating with Operation Smile at ISU.

ChristopherPhoto By Jasmin Shah

Operation Smile was originally founded nationally in 1982 when Dr. Magee, Jr., a plastic surgeon, and his wife, Kathleen, a nurse, traveled with medical volunteers to the Philippines to repair children's cleft lips and cleft palates. At first, they helped some children so the crowd soon grew exponentially. Full of people begging and crying to them to fix their babies cleft lip/palates, the two of them and these medical volunteers didn't have the ability or tools to help about 300 children at the time, with no other choice but to leave, the Magee's promised to return to give more children surgeries.

Operation Smile is a nonprofit medical service operation. When you first go onto the website they ensure us with a sense of humbleness and selflessness by saying, "Help Save More Lives. Without surgery, 9 in 10 children born with a cleft condition could die. Your gift will change their lives. DONATE NOW". Operation Smile tells us that we will and can be the ones to change these kids lives. One thing that Moran wanted to make sure that everybody was aware of when they read about Operation Smile is that of the kids who have a cleft lip and palates, it is/can be extremely dangerous and painful. It makes these kids lives harder because their mouth and nose do not connect properly at the early stages of pregnancy. This causes difficulty in eating, breathing, and speech development. A lot of kids and even adults grow up without seeking medical treatment or just unable to provide the funds to receive this type of surgery. These people barely have enough money to pay the $10 dollar fee for the bus to surgery, let alone the surgery itself. They ask us to understand and realize that we could do so much good in the world.

IrisPhoto By Jorgen Hildebrandt

Here at Illinois State, Antonio Foster started Operation Smile about 3 years ago. Foster himself had cleft lip surgery paid for by Operation Smile, so he created the club to spread awareness and give thanks to the people who changed his life. There are around 35 volunteers involved with Operation Smile. They just had their first meeting recently, then meet around one or two times a month to create new ways to raise money and inform the public as well as each other about upcoming fundraisers and service projects.

To get involved, it doesn't take much work. You can join Operation Smile at any time of the year! They are open to new members. If your schedule is too busy right now, you can always support O.S. fundraisers and wait to join! Donations are always accepted and even just spreading the word. They will have bake sales and different fundraisers throughout the year supporting their organization that people are always welcome to come to. When asking Moran why she decided to join Operation Smile, she told me that she is a Speech Pathology Major so she is very aware of the cause for change and how serious cleft lip and palates can be without surgery. Moran said, "I am always looking for ways to help people in need so I joined Operation Smile and completely fell in love with it!"

DomingosPhoto By: Zeke du Plessis

We who are more fortunate should consider what changing someones live could mean to us. We have the ability to take matters into our own hands and really help these people. To really put ourselves out there to help another human being live life differently can make all the difference in the world. That is why the money towards this cause is so important! Joining O.S. and supporting those who need it, gives those people a better chance at a healthier and safer life.

Opportunities to join Operation Smile: Email the President!

President: Abbie Teeling - aateeli@ilstu.edu

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20 Fun Facts To Use When Introducing Yourself

As we embark on the semester, we are put on the spot in order to share interesting details about ourselves. This article discloses possible fun facts to tell others!

After experiencing my first week of classes, I have learned that every student needs a handy-dandy list of fun facts about themselves to tell other people. Many professors use the first couple of classes to learn about their students, so you may need to think about who you are and how you want to introduce yourself to your professor and classmates. We all have that one go-to interesting fact about ourselves, but sometimes you just have to mix it up!

1. My favorite hobby is...

What do you do in your free time? Personally, I love to stay active! I am a competitive Latin dancer and enjoy teaching and taking Zumba classes, going to the gym, and hiking.

2. I love...

Is there something, someone, or somewhere that you love? What makes your heart ache? What do you miss when it's gone? I can say that I love my friends because I feel my most confident when I'm surrounded by those who love and support me.

3. I look up to...

Is there someone you adore? Who mesmerizes you? Who do you wish to learn from? After watching "A Ballerina's Tale," I discovered Misty Copeland. In 2015 she became the first African American ballet dancer to become the Female Principal Dancer at American Ballet Theatre. Her passion, grace, and strength continuously motivate me to better myself as an athlete and an individual.

4. This art speaks to me because...

Coco Chanel said, "In order to be irreplaceable one must always be different." This encourages me to always follow my heart no matter what. I will never follow society's standards and norms because they do not define me. Chanel's saying definitely influences my character and lifestyle.

5. A funny and/or embarrassing memory of me is...

When you make others laugh they want to spend time and make memories with you! Don't be afraid to embarrass yourself. You will come off as down to earth, easy-going, and loyal.

6. My siblings or lack thereof influenced me by...

I can go on and on about my brother, who is 10 years older than I. We have opposite personalities and despite the age gap, we're quite close.

7. My pet(s) are my life because...

Only sad people don't like hearing about furry creatures, even if your pets are slimy and slithering creatures all human beings enjoy hearing pet tales!

8. I'm afraid of...

Your personality can be revealed by your likes and dislikes, including the things that you fear. I am terrified of change and the unknown, hence, the future is an anxiety-inducing topic to discuss for me.

9. I am the way I am because...

What have you gone through in life that has shaped you into who you are today? Remember to be open minded and allow yourself to open up to your peers. You may be surprised by how others respond and/or what others have endured as well.

10. The most unusual item that can be found in your dorm...

This is a fun fact about yourself that can easily liven up an awkward conversation. Think about your quirks and differences! One item I have in my dorm is my teddy bear, Peter, whom I like to joke is my boyfriend.

11. My dream job is...

In college, "What's your major?" is a widespread question. Nonetheless, skip the boring statement of "I'm majoring in..." and go in depth on what your dream job is (hopefully your major factors in to this dream of yours).

12. My hidden talents are...

Angelina Jolie is a knife thrower. Kendall Jenner can produce bird noises. Amanda Seyfried can crochet and knit. Is there anything special you can do? Some people have rare and unique talents, maybe you can think of some hidden talents of your own!

13. My guilty pleasure is...

I will say it a million times: don't be shy when introducing yourself to new people! I'll start by divulging my guilty pleasure: Youtube's family vlogging channel, "OKBaby"!

Check them out: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCvUCbnwzySKgbKiB_...

14. Some activities on my bucket list are...

This is an easy way to grab people's attention and find others with similar desires as you. Be an adventurer! Go out of your comfort zone!

15. Talk about your best friend...

How would your best friend describe you? What do you love to do with your best friend?

16. Talk about an accomplishment of yours...

You are incredible and have achieved so much! Reveal something that you are proud of — show off a little!

17. This one time at my job...

Bosses breathing down your neck. Curious coworkers asking personal questions. Cursing customers who never leave you alone. Your job can be filled with tons of hilarious situations that can easily entertain a crowd.

18. During the summer...

Any scars with stories? Any summer flings? Any lessons learned from the tanning too long? Now that summer is over, disclose memories that can leave positive impressions on others.

19. I volunteer at...

Do you do any community service? Share a funny moment while you were volunteering. What did you learn while there? Would you continue?

20. [blank] is meaningful to me because...

What do you appreciate in life? What brightens your day? What makes you fall in love? What does someone have to do to make you smile?

Finally, remember to be outgoing! Reveal that three-mile smile and open your arms to learning about others. Spread smiles, love, and happiness.

Cover Image Credit: Pexels

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10 Simple Things I Do To Be Sustainable At College

Try these small tips and tricks to live sustainably in school!


There are so many challenges to living sustainably when you are in college because of the limited resources you have here rather than at home. But here are a few things you can change in your daily life that would make a huge difference in the long run. It also promotes the minimalist lifestyle!

1. Turn off the faucets when not in use

Turning off the tap while brushing your teeth can save eight gallons of water each day. Take showers regularly and baths for the less common days you need to cleanse. There is currently not an efficient way for water to be recycled in this country so for the meantime, we must conserve as much as we can.

2. Bring your own reusable water bottle

Some may be expensive but you would never go back to buying or trying to find plastic ones for the rest of your life. The larger the portion of the bottle, the more water I seem to drink, keeping me constantly hydrated. There are many beautifully designed bottles and so many different ones to fit your criteria (ie., mouth opening size) for the perfect bottle.

3. Carry around tote or sturdy bags

If you know you are going to buy groceries, get clothes that you left at your friend's place, give someone a gift, return something to a friend, etc., bring your own tote, cloth, or brown bag to store it in!

4. Carry your own utensils

Since the place I get my food is packaged, I try my best to avoid plastic utensils. I carry a spoon, chopsticks, fork, and my own stainless steel straw in a Furoshiki (Japanese cloth used to wrap thing such as Bento Boxes).

5. Invest in a stainless steel straw

We love sipping on our straws for our drinks so investing in a stainless steel one saves us from denying plastic ones. If you do invest, don't forget to get the ones with a pipe cleaner! Easy and accessible!

6. Switch liquid detergent for laundry powder

To reduce my use of plastic I went for an alternative to the huge Tide or Arm & Hammer plastic tubs, I bought powdered detergent! The company I purchased from was "Meliora Cleaning Products." I also replaced dryer sheet with wool dryer balls that can be reused more than 100 times!

7. Learn to love walks and bike rides

For a healthier lifestyle, learn to appreciate walks (and bike rides!) See all the beauty that surrounds you. If you can walk somewhere, do it. Chances are when you're in college, it's hard to balance exercise in your daily routine.

8. Invest in a plant-based bamboo toothbrush

These brushes (and packaging) are compostable and does a job well done. I own the "Spring Organic Bamboo Toothbrushes" which comes in a set of 5!

9. Buy a ceramic reusable mug for your daily Starbucks intake

I head to the Starbucks occasionally here on my campus so I bring this reusable ceramic cup (super cute) that comes with a lid and ask to have my cups in there.

10. Plan efficiently (there is no time to be disorganized)

One of the most important aspects that make these steps easier is to plan. If you are planning on buying groceries today, then you can bring all the bags you need necessary. If you do not plan on doing that, there is no use in carrying too many bags. If you know you are going out to eat with friends, there is no use in bringing utensils.

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