History

Photo courtesy of Rotaplast International

A brief history 

Wrap-A-Smile was started in 2001 by Terry Hodskins of the Rotary Club of Wells, Maine. The name recognizes the fact that a repair of a cleft lip enables a child to truly smile for the very first time. Terry’s inspiration came after seeing the life-changing work of Rotaplast where volunteer teams of health professionals treat up to 100 children during each of their international missions. Seeing these children wrapped in paper hospital drapes, Terry immediately said “we can do better”…. Quilters from all over the US and abroad have responded by providing comfort quilts for every Rotaplast mission.

Terry Hodskins (upper right) with her merry band of quilt labelers

Since the beginning, over 24,500 quilts have now been shared worldwide. The quilts cover the children in the operating room, provide comfort during the healing process, and then go home with the child and their family, commemorating the day that their life changed forever. A visual of 24,500 quilts would be enough to cover 6 football fields!

Photo courtesy of Rotaplast International

Volunteer quilters come in all shapes and sizes: women, men, quilting guilds, youth groups, some made with fancy sewing machines, and some made with a foot treadle. Quilters love to create, and Wrap-A-Smile loves to share them. In addition to Rotaplast, quilts have been sent to wheelchair programs in Africa, to hospitals in Nigeria and Uganda, and to Ronald McDonald Houses in the US. Wrap-A-Smile has proven to be an excellent people-to-people goodwill ambassadorial project.

Starting June 1, 2018, Wrap-A-Smile is now managed by Dr. Ann Demeranville of the Rotary Club of Boothbay Harbor, Maine. The need for quilts is ongoing and we are looking for new quilters to join our project and share the love. If you can help, please contact Ann: quilts7780@gmail.com.

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