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#30SmileReminders: Share your Craft with the World; Expect Nothing in Return

To celebrate my 30th birthday, I wanted to find simple ways to give back to the community and create more intentional joy. I made a list of 30 ways to do so and have picked a few to really highlight as part of this year’s #SmileBirthdayGiveback.

One of these activities was “Share your craft with the world. Expect nothing in return.” Here’s how we brought that to life this weekend.

My friend Rebecca is an ambassador for The Smile Project in the sense that she’s been recording her own daily joy for more than 1,000 days. But she’s been an ambassador for us long before had a formal program in the way that she lives and leads with kindness every day.

A few months ago, Rebecca showed me some beautiful watercolor bookmarks she had made. She recently brought them to a coffee shop and asked to leave them out for folks to take for free—an anonymous little treat that also plays into another of our #30SmileReminders, “find a way to share unexpected delight with someone with a ‘just because’ gift.”

Anyway, Rebecca had the idea to hide bookmarks in our neighborhood bookstore and so on Sunday, May 19, we found ourselves dragging our sleepy brains to the bookshop.

Astoria Bookshop—per a quick Google search—is a quaint merchant stocking a diverse selection of fiction and nonfiction books in an intimate space. And of course. But they’re also so much more. My first visit was a few weeks ago on Independent Bookstore Day (held annually the last Saturday of April). There is such a sincere emphasis on community and I fell in love with every turn of the shelves.

We took 6 of Rebecca’s bookmarks, added 6 Smile Project stickers to the back, and began finding books to hide them in. We tried to place them in a diverse selection of genre, location in the store, etc. And because of that, we have no idea if they’ll be discovered today, tomorrow, or 2 months from now. 

But I do know that little spark of excitement you feel knowing that someday, someone will find that and will feel a bit of joy. And that is a beautifully simple way to share a Smile Reminder.


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