Geneva Sides has spent the last 20 years using her vacation time to volunteer around the globe. For the last three years, she’s been doing work for Operation Smile.
ST ALBANS, Maine — Many people recognize the importance of volunteering but few would use their vacation days to do it. For the last two decades, that is exactly what nurse Geneva Sides from St. Albans has been doing. For the last three years, Sides has been one of only three Mainers traveling to remote parts of the world to volunteer with Operation Smile.
Operation Smile, founded in 1982, travels the world with the help of volunteer surgeons, nurses, medical record keepers, and others to repair cleft palates. Over the last four decades, the organization has repaired more than 300,000 people’s faces.
Sides says the surgeries help children and adults, many of whom have been ostracized because of their deformity, be