Operation Smile patients hold a photo of themselves before their cleft surgery
Operation Smile patients hold a photo of themselves before their cleft surgery
Volunteering & Giving
November 10, 2015

Celebrating Diwali with the gift of a smile

Wells Fargo is marking the most-observed holiday in Asian Indian culture — Diwali — by donating $50,000 to a nonprofit that provides cleft palate surgeries for children and young adults in India.

Wells Fargo is once again marking the most-observed holiday in Asian Indian culture — Diwali — with the nonprofit Operation Smile. A $50,000 donation to the nonprofit will help provide cleft palate and cleft lip surgeries for children and young adults in India.

“Operation Smile makes an incredible difference in the lives of children and their families,” says Rajnish Bharadwaj, head of Cross Border Strategy and Governance at Wells Fargo. “We are proud to support such impactful work and encourage everyone to join us this year as we celebrate Diwali.”

Lisa Jardanhazy, head of Corporate and Public Relations for Operation Smile, says a child is born with a cleft every three minutes and that the organization is working to train surgeons and fund a surgery backlog of 1 million patients.

In 2014, Wells Fargo’s support for Operation Smile during Diwali helped the organization conduct hundreds of the surgeries.

Lisa says, “We are grateful for the support from Wells Fargo. The generosity makes our programs possible.”

The Hindu holiday is Nov. 11 and is known as the festival of lights. Also called Deepavali, it gets its name from the row (avali) of clay lamps (or deepa) that Asian Indians light outside their homes to symbolize the inner light that protects them from spiritual darkness.

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