Blog Archive

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Pursue Your Passion: Smile Network International

Josh Rimpila, CPA
Supervisor, Assurance Services
Minneapolis, Minnesota
It was announced in October that three employees from McGladrey’s central region were to be awarded the opportunity to pursue their passion in 2015, with assistance from the firm. These employees were chosen to embrace “The Power of Being Understood” through the “McGladrey – Pursue Your Passion” program, and have been given the opportunity to support missions close to their hearts, while traveling around the world to do so. Josh Rimpila, audit supervisor in Minneapolis, was one of the three individuals selected and will be pursuing his passion in July 2015 with an 11-day Inca Trail trek to benefit Smile Network International.

“Doctors don’t know exactly why a baby develops a cleft lip or cleft palate. In developing countries, most parents can’t afford the cost to have their child’s cleft fixed.  But there is hope.  Hope for every child born with a cleft lip or palate. Hope arrives with every mission to a region by Smile Network International.” ~Smile Network International

As soon as the Pursue Your Passion Program was announced, Josh knew immediately that he wanted to apply, and more specifically, what he wanted to do. Born with a cleft lip and palate, Josh has a personal connection with the mission of Smile Network International. A Minneapolis-based charity, Smile Network International is a humanitarian organization that provides life-altering reconstructive surgeries and related healthcare services to impoverished children and adults in developing nations.

Being born in the United States, Josh’s family had access to the highest level of surgical care through the doctors at a local children’s hospital. As you can see in the picture below, the care he received led to amazing results. However, there are thousands of children around the world who are not as lucky. 

Growing up, Josh continuously looked for opportunities to help others dealing with cleft lips and palates, including donating Cleftline Bears to children in the hospital, donating to and attending events for cleft lip and palate support charities, and providing mentorship to other young individuals with this birth defect.

Josh had a desire to volunteer on an international scale with families that would otherwise not have the means or access to surgical care. One of the many ways to contribute to the mission of Smile Network International is by volunteering for a surgical mission team. Thanks to the Pursue Your Passion program, Josh now has the opportunity to volunteer internationally and impact the lives of children in developing countries.

To Josh, his mission will weave together several of McGladrey’s core values: respect, integrity, teamwork, excellence and stewardship, but none more so than teamwork. Individually, impoverished families cannot provide the necessary medical care for their children. The leadership of Smile Network International utilizes teamwork—fundraising efforts to support mission trips, organizing non-medical individuals and licensed medical professionals to donate time and skills, and much more to provide life-changing opportunities to children all over the world.

As part of the project, Josh will participate in the step-by-step process the day of the surgical screenings, assisting families from start to finish. On surgery days, he will be meeting with and helping the children and families prepare for the procedures, as well as assisting the children in the recovery room post-surgery. He will also have the opportunity to hike the Inca Trail. Additionally, as part of his trip, he will be establishing a $2,500 fundraising goal, which he plans to exceed. The funds will be used for future surgical missions. Over 82% of the organization’s expenditures are actually used for program services.

For Josh, this is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that will have a lasting impact on the lives of incredibly special, strong and deserving families. By viewing David’s story, you will get a glimpse into the incredible gift that Smile Network International provides infants and their families in developing nations.

After Josh returns from his trip, we’ll provide a recap of his adventure!

1 comment:

Richard Clifford said...

That's an amazing story. I see Operation Smile ads on TV and I can understand how kids like these feel. One of my cousin's children was born with a cleft on his lips. I believe that it's a noble thing that he's doing.