Hetty’s Parting Gift

14 June 2019 | Smile Train

Smile Train Planned Giving

Hester “Hetty” Roos Cartright was born in Bandung, Indonesia in 1930 and then moved to the United States when she was 12 years old.

Hetty was a music lover — especially the Opera. As a supernumerary (extra) at the San Francisco Opera House, she once shared the stage (and a kiss) with famed tenor Luciano Pavarotti.

Hetty raised four children mostly on her own, so she had to be frugal with her hard-earned dollars. Her family shared that she was very generous helping other, especially with children, but any nonprofit organization would have to pass her high standards and make actual, and lasting impact.

As a world traveler, Hetty witnessed children needlessly living with untreated clefts because their parents were unable to afford cleft treatment. So, in 2011, when she learned of Smile Train, and the transformative results Smile Train’s local doctors were having with these children, she became a Smile Train donor.

When Hetty passed away in 2019, she left Smile Train an extraordinarily generous bequest. Her son commented that his mother had a great admiration for Smile Train’s work around the world, “She was a woman of modest means, but left a large donation because she loves children. Her gift will give these children equal opportunity and help level the playing field.”

Hetty’s bequest will indeed ensure that future generations of children born with clefts will receive forever smiles and the chance at a better life. We are so grateful that more of our benefactors, people like Hetty, who work hard every day to provide for themselves and their families, care enough for children with clefts around the world to include Smile Train in their estate plans and join the growing roster of members of the Smiles for Life Society.


Interested in learning more about leaving a legacy to Smile Train? Visit our Smiles for Life Society page.