Compassion is part of our biology, doing good is the key to feeling good.  Neuroscientists are actually discovering that feeling compassion is associated with the release of oxytocin, a hormone that helps calm stress and boosts immune function.  Acts of loving, kindness, meditation and dwelling on positive thoughts for other people are free, easy to do and ultimately help improve your mood and health.  One of my favorite charities is the Smile Train.  What I love so much about this organization is that for the price of a cute shirt or a nice dinner $250, I can show  compassion and literally change a child’s life. They are one of the best run organizations I’ve come across, traveling the world and teaming up with local doctors to repair cleft palates around the planet.  In poor, underdeveloped regions of the world having a cleft palate is considered as a bad omen for a family or a village.  So in addition to not being able to eat or speak properly, these children are shunned by society and sometimes even their own families. Countless children are ridiculed and beaten by other children, preventing them from going to school. Unknown numbers of infants with cleft palates are simply abandoned. It doesn’t have to be this way because the Smile Train has never turned away one person who arrives for a surgery- which takes just under an hour to completely repair a cleft palate. Some people walk for days with only the hope that this blessing really exists.   I invite you to watch the video below.  If you’re feeling compassionate after, the organization takes donations as little as $25 and think about how you will smile knowing you helped a child being able to do the same.   Click here to see video Smile Train Visits Somalia

Somalia Video Screen Shot