By Lauren S.
On Valentine’s Day, there comes a knock at your classroom door. Who could it be? Cupid? St. Valentine himself? No! It’s an Operation Smile member bearing a basket of lollipops!
This year, Operation Smile hosted its first Valentine’s Day Delivery Service fundraiser. For $2 (or $1 for a bag of minis), students could purchase a chocolate, heart-shaped lollipop, and it was delivered anonymously to a person of their choosing. All money raised will fund a surgery to repair the cleft lip of a child in Africa, Asia, or South America.
The idea to distribute packets of homemade, chocolate heart lollipops was a combination of the Class Planning Committee’s Candy Grams and a little Valentine’s Day ingenuity, and it originated with sophomore Mige L. Other club members enthusiastically agreed, and soon, materials were bought, and the chocolate was cooking.
“The first time we made it, we were experimenting, and we messed up a lot,” said club Vice President Joanna P., a junior. “Let’s just say a few chocolate batches were burned.” But the club soon got the hang of it and began churning out batches by the dozen. Soon enough, they’d made about 200 lollipops.
Treasurer Annie Kwon, also a junior, advertised for the event by making posters and posting pictures of the finished lollipops on Facebook. Members also carried around lollipop baskets in the days prior to Valentine’s Day to raise awareness for their event and their cause. Though they didn’t initially plan on selling directly, many people were interested in buying on the spot, and the club adapted to the demand.
The Valentine’s Day Delivery Service successfully raised over $400 for Operation Smile. With operations costing $240 each, that’s nearly enough for two operations—not a bad deal, considering the cost of medical care.
However, as a second-year club running an event for the first time, Operation Smile encountered its share of difficulties. “We did get a few complaints about some problems with some of the deliveries,” said Joanna P. “We really apologize for that and will make sure it’s perfect next year.”
The club is planning to reimburse all people affected. “Mr. Ko-style cookies” will also be offered as compensation—that is, warm cookies that are “like heaven in your mouth,” according to Joanna P.
Also in the club’s future is the Smile Raffle. Though still under discussion, Operation Smile plans to take pictures of teachers’ smiles and hold a raffle in which participants pay for a chance to guess which teacher each smile corresponds to. Whoever guesses the most correctly will win prizes. Watch for it at the end of the year.