The Three Little Bears

Little boy before surgery in Panama
The Three Little Bears
Background --
In 2010, My husband Mat and I hosted my first fundraiser for Operation Smile at our home.  We were inspired to give back by our children's surgeon, Dr. Ronald Zuker, who is a medical volunteer for Operation Smile. Dr. Zuker had performed life changing transplant surgery for my oldest son Zachary and the result was so profound we wanted to give back to him.  Although my children's medical condition is extremely rare, we can easily relate to the struggles of any family dealing with facial deformity.  Operation Smile is an international charity working in more than 60 countries changing the lives of people everyday. As a mother and a PR professional, I was happy to give to this wonderful organization.
My boys before their smile surgery, we know first hand the power of a smile
After that first fundraiser, my best childhood friend designer Kathy Van Zeeland asked me what else we could do.  I told her that children going into surgery can bring a stuffed animal to comfort them and the idea for the Three Little Bears was born. Named after my children, Zachary, Luke and Griffin, who were all born with facial paralysis, these bears can be given for a $240 donation to Operation Smile.  A child going into surgery on their medical mission gets a bear and a donor gets a bear.  The bears are 100% underwritten by Kathy and her husband Bruce Makowsky.

Kathy with my boys at the launch event

Thanks to the generosity of donors,The Three Little Bears have been on medical missions to comfort children and give them life changing surgeries around the world.  It was my great honor to personally hand out bears to patients in David, Panama in 2013. If you would like to donate, please visit  To help generate awareness, tweet any of the following #threelittlebears #smile 

You can also reach out to Operation Smile directly, please see below, make sure you say you are interested in donating to the bears!  

Jessica Szramowski · Associate Development Officer
Operation Smile Global Headquarters
3641 Faculty Boulevard · Virginia Beach, VA 23453 USA
Direct Line: +1 757.321.3223 ·  jessica.szramowski

Thank you!

My son Zack in NICU.  
Zachary and I November 2000

Zachary, age 7, before smile surgery.
Zack at our first Operation Smile event with his beautiful smile.
At the launch event in NYC 2011

On our medical mission in Panama

Mother and boy in Panama with #lukebear

Griffin prior to one of his last surgeries with his bear

With singer Jon Mclaughlin at our second funderaiser at our home
Kathy & I at the Operation Smile Gala 2014

My beautiful boys today and their smiles!

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