Dr. John Persing started the Virginia Children’s Connection (VCC) in 1989. He and one of his plastic surgery residents, Dr. John Lettieri made the first VCC trip to Giridih India. Dr. Persing was an Associate professor at the time at the University of Virginia Hospital in Charlottesville, Virginia. VCC came into being to help the children of Giridih. There is a significantly higher rate of cleft lip and cleft palate in poorer communities around the world. Since the first trip VCC has continued to return to Giridih twelve times. The most recent camp was February 2023.