FAQs

Who is eligible to receive a Fresh Start Gift?

Fresh Start Surgical Gifts provides services to children and young adults from one-year-old to age 17 who are suffering from physical deformities caused by birth defects, accidents, abuse or disease. Patients up to age 25 must go through a separate Medical Program Committee process. If you are interested in applying, visit the Apply For Help page for more information.

What is the cost to receive treatments through Fresh Start Surgical Gifts?

Fresh Start services are provided free to children and young adults of financially disadvantaged families. Typically, these are individuals and families who do not have medical insurance, do not qualify for state-funded programs, or who would suffer significant financial hardship if they were to pay for the necessary and costly medical treatment.

How are the services provided?

Fresh Start is not a “free clinic.” Walkups are not taken and surgeries are planned months in advance. You must apply in advance and be accepted as a patient in order to receive services from Fresh Start Surgical Gifts. If you are interested in applying for San Diego children’s cosmetic surgery, please visit the Apply For Help page for more information.

Where are the services provided?

Surgery Weekends are provided at the Fresh Start Clinic at Rady Children’s Hospital in San Diego, CA. Dental Clinics are provided at the offices of local dentists in the San Diego area. For patients outside of San Diego, transportation, lodging, and food can be arranged to bring patients to our San Diego facility.

What kind of volunteer opportunities do you offer?

The majority of volunteers at our Surgery Weekends and Dental Clinics are medical professionals ranging from anesthesiologists and surgeons to dental hygienists and RNs. If you are a medical professional interested in volunteering with Fresh Start Surgical Gifts, visit the Volunteer Opportunities page to start the volunteer application process. We do have opportunities for non-medical volunteers at our Office and some opportunities at our Surgery Weekends and Dental Clinics. For more information, visit the Get Involved page.

Are all of your staff volunteers?

All of Fresh Start Surgical Gifts’ surgeons, nurses, anesthesiologists, speech therapists, and other medical volunteers are volunteers at every Surgery Weekend and Dental Clinic and achieve an annual output of over 6,000 volunteer hours. We have a small staff of 10 full-time employees and 1 part-time employee that handles the organization’s development, administration, and the planning & coordination of our medical programs.

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