9-year-old collects bottles to cover surgical costs for kids with cleft palates


"I was sad," the fourth-grader from Eastchester, New York, told CNN. "I said, 'Daddy, can we do something? I want to help those kids.'"The commercial detailed the hardships kids born with the facial deformity deal with — difficulties eating, talking and even smiling. "We found the cost of operations and the blankets and the teddy bears," Abigail explained. The organization profiled in the commercial, Operation Smile, offers free surgical care for kids with cleft lips and cleft palates, including speech therapy and nutritional education. "The surgeries costs as little as $240," Nicole Bell, Operation Smile's director of public relations, told CNN. Abigail started collecting bottles to help families who couldn't afford the surgery bill. That was more than a year ago, and Abigail is still collecting bottles. So far, she's cashed in nearly 7,000 bottles—enough to cover at least one surgery. "One bottle is worth 5 cents. We cash in a cart full of plastic and glass bottles or cans twice a week," Erik Moen, Abigail's dad, told CNN.

Abigail starts a movement

Abigail Moen stands tall in her soccer team uniform. The recyclable items come from the Moen's home, their jobs and even the next-door neighbor."The neighbor brings a bag every recycle day and she told one of her friends," Erik Moen explained. But Abigail doesn't plan to stop there; she's planning a bake sale to bring in more money to help cover the surgeries."I have more ideas," Abigail said. And when she's not helping save kids' smiles, Abigail keeps busy with other hobbies."I like playing video games. I like playing piano. I play trumpet. Ballet. Soccer. VRead More – Source