Not only did we need a lot of cards, but we needed a lot of cards decorated. That presented two problems. We had to have a source for cards, but once we received them we also needed to get them decorated on the inside. A dual issue that had to be solved. However, the first issue was getting more cards. We had built a Facebook presence with a few followers, but we needed more. I decided to go out on a limb and spend a considerable amount of my own money using Facebook to advertise the program and it paid off in a big way. Networks of people across the country got wind of what we were doing and many card artists, we call them card angels, started supplying us with some of the most beautiful handmade cards that you have ever seen. They started showing up from all over the country and we knew we had made the connection we needed. But how would we get them all decorated?
One of the things that we decided early on in the program was that for this to be successful we had to have others involved. We wanted children to understand the importance of remembering those that paved the way for us and we wanted Seniors to remember that they were loved and not forgotten. We had to find a way to connect this circle of life and the most logical place was to start with schools and civic groups. Schools came on board, then came groups like the Girl and Boy Scouts and soon others. We were able to get the blank cards that we were receiving into these groups and in turn had a supply of cards to deliver to our list of senior communities that was rapidly expanding. Our mantra of “connecting the circle of life” was born.
Never one to rest on our laurels and always wanting more, we knew we needed to expand. The need was too great to just work in our community. Since almost the beginning of the program we had been receiving cards weekly from one of our donors that lived north of us in Florida. It was obvious she liked to write cards, happy mail she called it. We knew we needed to meet with her. We set up a lunch, made the connection with Renee and it was not long before she became the manager of our home delivery program that would send cards to seniors at home through another arm of our ever growing program. However, could there be more? Well of course.
Also in our first year we made a connection with a previous client/friend of mine who had a sister in Michigan that was interested in being a part of our journey. I had a call with her and explained our program. She quickly signed on to what we were doing. As hard as it was to let go of control, I saw something in Diane that I knew was special and that she was going to be a major asset to our program. Before we knew it, the Bring Smiles to Seniors Michigan program was born and has gone on to be something wonderful under Diane’s guidance. But were senior communities the only one’s in need?
Have a great day and remember to be the reason someone smiles.