Special Projects

The CHELISAM Foundation is grateful to be connected to people whose humanitarian activities, charitable natures and skills in the applied and medical sciences have introduced us to projects worthy of our support. The following is a sampling.

Tabasamu's Dental Mission to Kitale, Kenya

On Thursday, September 13, 2007, Dr. Richard Ansong accompanied a team of American dental professionals and volunteers on a three-day mission to Kenya to provide gratis dental care, basic supplies and education to over 500 patients in the underserved communities in the region. This operation was organized by Tabasamu (smile in Swahili), a dental outreach project that holds a special place in our hearts, as Dr. Richard Ansong was an undergraduate student of Lisa Bernard’s at CUNY Queens College before his successful study and practice of dentistry in New York City. Knowing firsthand Dr. Ansong’s reliability and integrity, The CHELISAM Foundation was immediate and unanimous in its decision to support this particular mission called Searching for Smiles, filling a critical void in Kenya where there is one dentist for every 60,000 people. With 100 per cent of the missions’ costs donated — including the time, airfare, and dental expertise of the practitioners — The CHELISAM Foundation’s contribution had a real impact having supported room and board for five such volunteers, paid to fill and save the teeth of fifty people (rather than extracting their teeth) and bought 1000 toothbrushes (toothbrushes are rare) for those Kenyans newly educated in basic dental hygiene. In our judgment, this was a most marvelous and vivid execution of our mission. In appreciation, Dr. Ansong wrote,

I thank you from the bottom of my heart, but for you my heart has no bottom. I think of the words of William Shakespeare,
‘How far that little candle throws his beams! So shines a good deed in a weary world.’

Dot Dog Project

Lisa Bernard’s client Saxon Maxwell Thaler initiated a fundraiser to address the critical shortfall in space available for the care of premature infants of the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York. Once a patient in that NICU himself, Mr. Thaler and his grandmother began hand-sewing and selling replicas of the stuffed, polka-dot dog that kept him company in the incubator for his first seventy-seven days of life. Hearing of the pressing need to expand the NICU to accommodate the growing numbers of premature infants and their parents today, Mr. Thaler conceived of the Dot Dog Project in connection with his bar mitzvah studies. At the age of thirteen, Saxon launched the project, and The CHELISAM Foundation was delighted to provide seed money for its expansion.

Heifer International

This venerable not-for-profit with global reach provides families with milk-, egg- and wool-producing livestock so that they may provide nourishing food, give their children the opportunity to go to school and make clothing for themselves. Truly a gift that continues to give, animals provided to families in need continue the good will by the sharing the live-stocks’ offspring with other families in need. The CHELISAM Foundation supported the initial Gift of a Goat and Six Shares of a Sheep via Heifer.org and is proud to know that additional families are still benefiting from this practical, productive and unique present.

Operation Smile

With an undisputed track record of success, this organization has for thirty years been sending volunteer medical teams to areas of the world where they provide pro bono corrective surgery to children born with cleft lips or cleft palates, restoring proper function, appearance and speech. The CHELISAM Foundation supported a surgery through OperationSmile.org and shares in their joy of knowing that this special young patient is now proceeding through his childhood able to appear, eat, speak and develop normally.

Global Water

Since 1982 this organization has used 100 per cent of donations like ours on supplies, sanitation facilities and hygiene-related facilities for rural villagers in developing countries. Understanding that the lack of safe drinking water and sanitation facilities are root causes of hunger, disease and poverty throughout the developing world, its projects have an immediate life-changing impact. This is especially so for women and children, who have the responsibility to gather water for their families every day of their lives in the developing world. The CHELISAM Foundation was honored to see its donation contribute to clean water supply systems via GlobalWater.org.