How many times a day do you smile? I know it probably depends on what day it is, but I am pretty big on the smiling thing, especially on days Friday through Sunday. Then, smiles are in full swing. I have always been a lover of pictures and happily flash a big, toothy grin every time someone pulls out the camera. The thing is though, I wasn't always this way.
I used to close my mouth for pictures. I didn't want people to see my smile. I was really insecure. You see, I didn't have the greatest teeth as a kid. They just seemed to grow every direction except for straight. When I was 6 or 7, I was too young for it to bother me. Those were the glory years where I didn't care what I looked like and just wanted to play with my friends. Within the next couple of years, though, my teeth really started to effect my confidence. Not only that, but my teeth were so crooked that I started getting headaches.
The dentist pulled four teeth so they could start me in braces early. I got braces in fourth grade and had them for four years. I was so excited to be a metal mouth and fix these teeth, at least that's how I remember it. My parents may remember my attitude towards braces differently, but I digress. With the exception of head gear (thank you Jesus), I had pretty much every appliance an orthodontist can install in your mouth. Honestly, I was lucky. My parents were able to afford braces, and they were able to fix my smile. I know they thought I was beautiful and perfect just the way I was, but braces were something I needed to feel confident in myself. I know I take it for granted now, but the 8 year old Chelsea would slap grown up me for ever doing so. I love smiling as much as Buddy the Elf now, but it took some work for me to get there.
That's why I am really excited to talk about Operation Smile today. Operation Smile is an international charity that heals children who are born with clefts. About 1 in 500-700 children are born with a cleft lip or cleft palette. We don't hear about it a lot because typically the child has a surgery to fix the problem immediately. But what about the children whose parents can't afford surgery? Gone untreated, these children will have difficulty eating, speaking, socializing, and smiling. Basically, their quality of life is so much lower than it could be. I know how much confidence I lost from having bad teeth, and that's nothing compared to what these kids have to go through.
So how can you help? Well, college students, this post is for you. Campusbookrentals.com donates to Operation Smile with each textbook rented. Not only would you be saving money by renting textbooks, because let's face it, it's so much cheaper to rent than buy, but you could be giving a child the chance for a normal life.
If you're in school or thinking of going back to school, I highly recommend renting your books vice buying them. For starters, you save 40-90% off of bookstore prices. I can't tell you how much I wish I had known about this. I am kicking myself for all the money I could have saved. Do you know how many trips to Target that is?!
Not only can you rent textbooks through Campusbookrentals.com, but you can then rent them back to other students when you're done through Rentback.com. You make 2-4x more money doing this than you would just selling your books back to the bookstore. Win win win win win.
My favorite thing about Campusbookrentals.com is what they do for Operation Smile. These kids that were born with cleft lips and palettes don't have to live that way. Modern day medicine is amazing, and we have the opportunity to help fund these life saving surgeries. I sometimes take my smile for granted, but I know that I am blessed to have straight teeth and be able to smile confidently. It's exciting to be able to give that blessing to a child.
Disclosure: I was compensated for this post, but all opinions are my own.