Home: San Jose, California
Objective: Raise funds for cleft lip surgeries by redeeming recyclables
Summary: When Sonali Ranaweera was 11 years old, her parents gave her and her brother a gift of $100, but there was a catch. “I had to use it to make a difference in someone’s life,” she explained. She decided to donate her money to Smile Train, an international charity which raises money to provide cleft lip and palate surgeries for needy children. However their suggested donation to pay for a single surgery was $250. Coincidentally Sonali was learning about recycling in school and had just discovered that recyclables can be redeemed for cash. Thus, she decided to try to collect recyclables to come up with the additional $150. Sonali quickly raised the money and more. She was so successful that she created Recycling4Smiles. Now each week Sonali and her friends gather and sort bottles and cans together. Since 2011 the organization has raised $34,000 for children’s dental surgeries.
Learn more: https://www.facebook.com/Recycling4Smiles/timeline