How we started
In 2008, two high-school graduates, Mayte Vidal and Celia Ocampo, traveled to Mozambique in Africa to volunteer with local and international organizations. They were deeply moved by the extreme adversities of the children, and decided to take a step beyond volunteering.
The original idea was to do a soup-kitchen project, but due to financial and practical reasons they decided to do a monthly food distribution.
As soon as Celia returned to Mexico, she started looking for sponsors that could help these children. Meanwhile, Mayte, still in Africa, started searching for extreme cases in the Sacred Heart community. She visited each child’s house, met the family, and registered 40 of the most urgent cases.
In January 2009, Mayte and Celia’s vision became a reality as the first food distribution took place.
When Mayte saw the kids’ faces as they were receiving the food, she immediately knew what the name of the organization would be: “BRING A SMILE”.
Back in the US Mayte talked to reverend Father Federico Capdepón, pastor of Saint Martha’s Catholic Church, about “Bring a Smile.” He loved the project and immediately gave her all the support by making Bring a Smile a part of Saint Martha’s NGO.
In 2009 Mayte decided to devote herself to the religious life, so her sister Elena and her mom Maricarmen promised to continue and grow “Bring a Smile” in the US. Celia has been successfully running “Bring a Smile” from Mexico.