Maine nurse works by using family vacation time to volunteer all-around the entire world

Geneva Sides has spent the very last 20 decades applying her vacation time to volunteer

Geneva Sides has spent the very last 20 decades applying her vacation time to volunteer about the world. For the past three decades, she’s been carrying out function for Procedure Smile.

ST ALBANS, Maine — Numerous people realize the significance of volunteering but few would use their holiday days to do it. For the previous two decades, that is specifically what nurse Geneva Sides from St. Albans has been doing. For the very last a few yrs, Sides has been a single of only 3 Mainers traveling to remote parts of the planet to volunteer with Procedure Smile. 

Operation Smile, launched in 1982, travels the entire world with the enable of volunteer surgeons, nurses, professional medical document keepers, and other individuals to restore cleft palates. More than the last 4 decades, the group has repaired additional than 300,000 people’s faces. 

Sides claims the surgeries assist youngsters and older people – a lot of of whom have been ostracized – be ready to appropriately eat and converse and lead a considerably extra normal life.


She has traveled to India two times and Africa as soon as with Operation Smile. She normally takes small compact mirrors for sufferers so that they can admire their new faces. She remembers one particular girl in her 40s who she gifted a mirror to following her medical procedures.  

 “She laid on her bed all evening very long hunting at herself…She was so content,” Sides remembers.

Even nevertheless Procedure Smile pays for most of her costs when she volunteers, the visits are not free of expense. Sides has to pay $500 to volunteer with the group. She donates her time, her skills, and her money and suggests she is pleased to do it. 

“It just gives me such a good sensation about what I do. When you see the aftermath of the surgeries, that’s value it,” states Sides. 

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