On the same day the USA Network's hit series "White Collar" returns, one of its stars, Sharif Atkins will volunteer in Ecuador with Operation Smile for a surgical mission to save and transform lives where medical volunteers will provide free reconstructive surgery for children born with cleft lips and cleft palates. "White Collar" continues its fourth season Tuesday, January 22 at 10/9C.
Atkins, who stars as dedicated FBI agent Clinton Jones of the White Collar Crimes Unit on the series, is encouraging his fans and friends to follow him and the Operation Smile volunteers on the 5-day medical mission. While in the country, the team will repair the smiles of an estimated 100 children. Atkins will play a hands-on role, helping to comfort children and families as they prepare for surgery.
As an official Smile Ambassador for Operation Smile, Atkins supports the organization's global efforts to provide free surgeries for children born with facial deformities. Atkins is asking his fans to visit his personal Fundraising Campaign on Crowdrise at www.crowdrise.com/sharifsmission
and help him raise $10,000, which can provide life-changing surgery for children around the world who are suffering from clefts.
Every three minutes, a child is born with a cleft. One in 10 of those children won't survive past their first birthday. Those who do survive often can't eat or speak properly, are shunned and many don't attend school. In as few as 45 minutes, and for as little as $240, Operation Smile can provide a child with free reconstructive surgery that will give new hope, laughter and smiles. With the help of generous supporters like Sharif, Operation Smile has provided more than 3.5 million comprehensive healthcare evaluations and free surgery for more than 200,000 children worldwide since its founding in 1982.
Sharif is well known to television audiences for his role on "White Collar," as well as his previous role as Dr. Michael Gallant on "ER." He also guest starred on hit series such as "The 4400," "CSI: Miami," "Criminal Minds," "The Good Wife," "Raising the Bar," and "Numbers." Expanding his talents to the big screen, Atkins played the lead role and love interest in the feature film "Preacher's Kid" directed by Stan Foster. His film credits also include "Paved With Good Intentions," "Out Of Exile," and "All-Nighter."
"Sharif inspires others to get involved and help us change the lives of children worldwide," said Dr. Bill Magee, Executive Chairman and Co-Founder of Operation Smile. "We truly appreciate his dedication and commitment."
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