Two Girls Have Collectively Raised $250,000+ For Cleft Charity

It's International Women's Day and these two young women are going above and beyond to raise money for the world's largest cleft charity, Smile Train! Meet 10-year-old Ella Pastorelli and 18-year-old Sonali Ranaweera who are creating smiles all across the world.


1) Ella Pastorelli was born with a cleft lip and received cleft lip surgery when she was just four months old. Growing up, Ella became aware of how fortunate she was to receive surgery, and she learned from her parents that there were still millions of children around the world who were unable to afford the simple surgery. Ella decided she wanted to help.

Since that time, the Pastorelli family has held an annual Smile Train fundraising event called Ella's Lemonade Stand around Ella's birthday. This annual event has raised enough funds over the years to provide 580+ cleft surgeries.

This past year marked Ella's 10th birthday, as well as the 10th year of her annual fundraiser. Ella and her family wanted to do something special. They decided to forego the lemonade stand in favor of holding a gala at the historic Long Island estate, Oheka Castle. By the end of the night, the gala raised an incredible 372 Smiles, pushing their grand total as a family to 952 smiles.

Ella's mom says: "I don't want to make her do it on her birthday if she doesn't want to. But she wants to. She loves it."

2) When Sonali Ranaweera was 12 years old, her parents gave her $100 to invest with the stipulation that it had to positively affect someone's life.

While researching how to make the biggest impact with her money, Sonali found Smile Train's website and learned about the millions of children who are needlessly suffering with untreated clefts in the developing world. Sonali decided that she would donate her $100 to Smile Train to help a child smile for the first time.

Soon after Sonali's initial donation, her sixth grade science teacher informed her that she could earn money by recycling cans and bottles. Instead of dreaming of items she could buy for herself, Sonali became determined to raise an additional $150 for Smile Train — this would bring her fundraising total to $250, an amount that could provide a free cleft surgery. By her next birthday, Sonali met her goal and donated her first full smile.

Since then, Sonali has kept recycling, and has even started a "Recycling For Smiles" club at her school. To date, Sonali has helped provide new smiles to 66 children.

Sonali says: "I donate 100% of the money I make from recycling cans and bottles. I am glad to do this because I love putting smiles on people's faces. Making money from recycling and donating the money to someone else who really needs is a great thing."

To see more stories like this, follow us on Facebook and sign up for our Only Good News Newsletter.

Rescue, Transform, Share: How an Ohio Soup Shack Is Saving Lives

"It really does take a village to help people," says Sandra Lettie, a volunteer with La Soupe in Cincinnati, Ohio. La Soupe is helping to build and activate just such a "village" of compassionate people from the local area around the goal of producing food from discarded produce and providing it to families in need.

According to La Soupe's CEO, Suzy DeYoung, the organization's central mission is to "rescue, transform, and share." First, volunteers with La Soupe visit grocery stores and farms to pick up produce that was going to be discarded and "rescue" it for use in the soups that the team creates. That produce is then "transformed" into healthy, delicious food by the chefs at La Soupe. Finally, the food is "shared" with those in the local community who need it.

Keep reading... Show less

Man Goes on Cross-Country Hugging Tour To Spread Love

Hugging is considered to be a rather intimate form of affection across the US. Everyone hugs, but rarely do we ever hug strangers. Arie Moyal is willing to do just that. He is the founder and creator of the Hug Train, a national tour of free hugs to promote mental health awareness. Arie travels across the country giving hugs to strangers who are willing to give him an embrace.

Keep reading... Show less

How to Brew the Perfect Cup - Tea Time With Cindi

A "How To" for tea lovers on how to make the perfect cup. Her Grandma Ruth created her first cup of "Constant Comment"® Tea nearly 70 years ago and taught her family well how to make a perfect cup of tea. Now Cindi invites you into her kitchen where she shares some of the secrets with you.

Keep reading... Show less

3 Ways To Enjoy The Outdoors -Happiness Made Simple with Dr. Woody

Everyone could use a little help in their daily lives…and watching a good DIY video can always make a difference! OnlyGood TV videos help make your life easier, more manageable, happy and stress free!

Happiness is a choice, and one we all want to make. Happier people tend to live healthier lives and you often find the keys to happiness just outside your door. In this episode of Happiness Made Simple, host Dr. Woody Woodward describes how being out and about near a babbling brook, a luscious green field, or an iconic museum stimulates our ears, eyes, and mind and helps us to be more engaged with the nature, culture and people around us.

Keep reading... Show less

A Tranquil Escape - Lavender Waves Farm

Dr. Henry Cabrera is an Anesthesiologist at South County Hospital in Wakefield, Rhode Island. But when he hangs up his white coat at the end of the day, he heads to the beauty and serenity of Lavender Waves Farm, his home, his hobby, a now a thriving family business.

Keep reading... Show less

Meet Netta Jenkins! - Netta, D.I. (E1)

** OGTV celebrates MLK Day with this inspiring story of a young woman addressing Diversity and Inclusion in the workplace. **

"Every single person feels a sense of exclusion throughout their life."

Even as a kid, this observation struck Netta Jenkins as a universal truth. As the newly elected president of her freshman class in Johnston High School in Rhode Island, she knew she had found a core emotional theme that any student could relate to. Netta then rallied students and teachers to discuss and address their feelings of exclusion, and together they were able to make meaningful changes in the day to day life at their school.

Keep reading... Show less

Boston’s North End Institution That Treats You Like Family – Polcari’s Coffee

** In recognition of National and International Coffee Day, we would like to share a story of one of our favorite local businesses that have been boosting up residents in the North End of Boston with their coffee blends for almost a century! **

This Little Italy neighborhood in the North End of Boston is dotted with stores from an earlier, simpler time that have a genuine, authentic feel. Bobby Eustace, the owner of one such store, relishes the enjoyment he sees in the eyes of his customers as they take in what he calls the "orderly disarray" of his shop where you can find rare spices, deli meats, candy, pasta, and a wide selection of coffees, their specialty. When you cross the threshold and take a deep breath of the unique mix of aromas, you know you have arrived at Polcari's Coffee.

Keep reading... Show less

Young Inventor Helps Kids Find Comfort in Hospitals

** To commemorate Kid Inventors Day, OGTV is sharing this story about a young girl who redirected her fear from a hospital stay into the creation of a device that makes these visits a little less scary for other kids in the same situation. **

The only good part of a hospital stay is the end of it – the moment you go through the doors and know you are heading home. As stressful as this can be for an adult, it is exponentially worse for a young child. Ella Casano was one of those kids suddenly plucked out of normal life by an unpronounceable diagnosis and thrust into a daily routine of painful treatment, fear-stricken parents and the prospect of long periods away from home. Though she was really scared, she saw her situation from a kid's "how do I beat this" perspective and envisioned something that could make the experience just a little bit easier for herself and others like her.

Keep reading... Show less

* PODCASTS *

* OGTV Top Videos *

Watch and Subscribe
It's a Positivity Movement
OnlyGood TV on YouTube

mailbox

Get your Only Good TV Newsletter