Young Woman's Recyclables Fund Life Changing Surgeries

Sonali Ranaweera was a young girl when her parents gave her $100 and told her, "Use it to make a difference." At this time, she was learning about the economics of recycling in her school science class in San Jose, California and the pieces of an idea began to fall into place. Sonali decided to use her $100 to launch Recycling4Smiles, a recycling-focused charity organization that would allocate the money collected for bottles and cans to a worthy cause.


When Sonali was considering where to donate the funds she would raise, she saw an ad for the nonprofit Smile Train, an organization dedicated to helping children who are born with cleft lips or cleft palates. As Sonali learned more about the serious consequences of such conditions for very young children, and the life altering effects of corrective surgery, she knew that Smile Train would be her beneficiary of her recycling efforts.

Recycling4Smiles raised an astounding $39,000 for Smile Train thanks to Sonali's efforts to recruit family, friends, businesses and neighbors to donate the money raised by turning in cans and bottles! That has translated into 44 surgeries to repair cleft lips and palates for babies in need. That is a lot of bright new smiles !

"I think true happiness comes when you make others happy," Sonali noted. Watch how the efforts of this young woman are changing many lives and bringing happiness where there was once only dismay.

Sonali's amazing initiative should remind us all that even the ordinary activities, like recycling, can become meaningful when we focus on helping others.

This video was produced by Lucia Nazzaro and shot/edited by Heather Holloway.

Learn more about Recycling 4 Smiles and SmileTrain at: https://www.smiletrain.org/stories/re...

Recently, Sonali published a children's book, "Abigail and the Fish Tree" with all proceeds going to help children in need! Learn more at: https://ieeeusa.org/shop/policy/stem-...

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IEEE-USA E-BOOKS introduces its first volume for children, written by the youngest author to have a manuscript accepted by the e-publishing arm of the organization.

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