186: Impacting Lives with Just a Playground and a Bear — Anna Lopes with Million Dollar Smiles

Simple acts of kindness can go a long way for children going through chemo.

Anna Lopes is the Founder of the non-profit organization, Million Dollar Smiles. The organization was created to help provide support for families with children facing adversity from life threatening illnesses. In the 10 years they’ve been around, they have not turned down one single child. The organization does not rely on any grant money whatsoever and is supported solely by donations. How did Anna do it? Find out on today’s episode!

Key Takeaways:

[3:25] Million Dollar Smiles celebrates their 10th anniversary this year! They’ve built 200 playgrounds so far.

[6:05] What does Million Dollar Smiles do and who is Anna?

[9:15] Anna and her volunteers have gotten the process down pat that they can build a playground in 6 hours.

[16:50] How does Anna coordinate everything with the volunteers?

[21:50] Anna and her team only have one purpose, to create smiles.

[22:35] Anna does not rely on grants; everything is supported by fundraising. How does she do it?

[25:25] For those who are donating to the cause, how has Million Dollar Smiles impacted their lives?

[30:00] Million Dollar Smiles does a Halloween gala every year, and for the last 4 years they’ve sold about 800 tickets.

[35:35] Because of word of mouth, Million Dollar Smiles has experienced a ripple effect of donations and volunteers. They’ve never had to refuse a child in the 10 years of doing this, and they’ve haven’t even had to ask for sponsors in 7 years.

[41:35] What kind of obstacles has Anna encountered?

[45:35] What plans does Anna have for the future?

Mentioned in This Episode:

Giving Back Podcast

Million Dollar Smiles

Milwaukee ToolThompsons Water Seal.com

Nuun Life


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