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My involuntary blogging hiatus has come to an end, but my ideas tonight are anything but routine.  On Saturday at the Close To My Heart Convention 2015, many of us (slightly crazy) met slightly after dawn for our 2nd annual 5K run/walk to benefit Operation Smile.  I thought completing the route would be the highlight of the day, but it didn’t even come close.

Earlier in the week CTMH Home Office had offered beautiful necklaces to anyone who donated at least $30 to Operation Smile.  A number of consultants had also created beautiful artwork for a benefit auction to be held at our closing session Saturday afternoon.  These one-of-a-kind art pieces had been showcased earlier in the day, and those of us who didn’t anticipate bidding were still looking forward to the fun of the auction.

Monica Wihongi, President of Sales and Marketing, had shared a video of a trip she took earlier this year to Chiapas, Mexico, along with actress Kate Walsh and a team of medical volunteers.  I think most of us knew about Operation Smile’s work “in theory”, but until watching that video we only had an inkling of its importance.  On that mission trip there were 200 children who applied for the surgery, but only enough resources to do 100 operations.  The screening is so rigorous and the children are in such need…no one should ever have to be turned away.

Anyhow, each “Smile” surgery (to repair cleft palate or lip) costs about $230, which doesn’t seem very expensive in our everyday world, but to parents in poverty it is a small fortune.  And that is where our “anything but routine” auction fits in.

“Follow Your Heart” mixed media piece donated to Operation Smile auction.

Thanks to the talented consultants who created and donated their special artwork to the auction, and the generous consultants who bid above and beyond to support Operation Smile, those who participated in the 5K, and purchased the special necklaces, Close To My Heart consultants and Home Office staff raised enough money for 144 more surgeries…$33,000 in the week of our convention.  I don’t think there was a dry eye in the house by the end of the auction; we were all thrilled to be part of such an amazing outpouring of love.

This lovely auction piece was created for and donated to the auction by CTMH Consultant Chelsey Vorosmarty.

I am so proud to be part of a group that puts its money where our hearts are…truly personifying our CEO and Founder Jeanette Lynton’s admonition to “Make it From Your Heart.”