Anna Lopes

Award Nomination:



Million Dollar Smiles


Founder and Director




Over 10 years ago I started Million Dollar Smiles with the simple goal of wanting to bring smiles to children facing life threatening illnesses. I began with a small group of volunteers and together we helped change the life of 10 families in our first year through our Travelling Teddy Bear campaign. After years of running numerous fund-raising events resulting in many smiles, we have grown into a group of dedicated volunteers who organize fundraisers that support our gift-giving campaigns and special events. A surprisingly wonderful by-product of starting Million Dollar Smiles has been the amazing volunteer community that we have built! These volunteers are not just great because of their fundraising efforts but also because they really roll up their sleeves and get involved.

Our very successful Summer Playground Build program entails teams of 20+ volunteers building playgrounds over a weekend in the backyard of our special MDS children. We do over 60 playgrounds in a season now and are bringing smiles to many more each year.