A Reason to Celebrate the Power of We
Previously, I have written about the “power of we” and how coming together to do good deeds has the power to change the world. I would be remiss if I didn’t take the opportunity to share what has happened in the Bring Smiles to Seniors program and how “one card, one smile at a time” we are reminding seniors all across America and overseas that they are loved and matter.
In 2016, when I founded Bring Smiles to Seniors, I did so because when visiting my grandmother in her nursing home I saw many seniors who were lonely and neglected. I saw a need to bring some love and joy back into their lives and give them a reason to believe that they still mattered and were not forgotten. Starting with my grandmother’s senior community, we have grown to seek to deliver on that mission in all fifty states and even communities in the United Kingdom. Our main program in Florida, along with Diane who manages our Michigan program, coordinate deliveries to the United States senior communities. Our card angels Elaine, Geraldine and Clair handle our United Kingdom community deliveries. However, just sending cards to senior communities wasn’t enough.
Early on we added a home delivery program run by Renee who would ensure that seniors at home also received cards and other goodies. That quickly expanded as we took on Meals on Wheels programs run by Liane, who not only coordinates deliveries to programs all over the country, but makes the cards herself. Finally, our social media groups took on a life of their own with the creation of two private groups on our Facebook page. Lola’s Smile Bunch, named after my grandmother, sends out cards to thousands of seniors each and every month. Moderated by our card angels Dawn, Janet and Ellen, major coordination takes place to ensure that seniors on our lists receive multiple cards every month. Our second Bring Smiles to Seniors subgroup is moderated by Jocelyn and Anita and provides a community for all our card angels to share ideas, supplies and their beautiful card making techniques with each other. What has been the result of all this effort?
In the first four years of the program, Bring Smiles to Seniors delivered 138,630 cards. In 2020 alone, we have now delivered more cards than we did in the first four years combined at 139,282. We have provided an outlet for those who want to give back to be a part of our mission. Companies have used us for team building events. Schools work with us to remind children the importance of honoring our seniors. Civic groups participate to show seniors even more love.
When I started this program with my friend Linda in 2016, I said that I had a little dream that I hoped one day would become a very big reality. Because of each and every person that believes that seniors still matter, that dream has come true. Every day we work hard deliver on our mantra of “one card, one smile at a time”. Almost 278,000 smiles in time time this program has been in effect is the best confirmation that the “power of we” is alive and well.