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Our Year in Review: The Smile Project in 2023

New Year’s Eve is my favorite holiday and it’s not even close. I love year-in-reviews and vision boards and goal setting. Love new calendars and unopened planners and cleaned out closets. Love counting down until midnight, dancing to Frank Sinatra, and being in bed by 12:15 AM. But most of all, I love the way December 31 forces us to look back… to reflect… to see how far we’ve come.


In preparation for our annual “year in review” I went back to reread a few recent years—2020, 2021, and 2022 here for those interested. For a brief moment, I put myself back in those younger shoes and felt my heart ache with love for the growth one person can experience—for the changes just a few hundred days can bring. 


This is our 106th blog post of the year. I’m incredibly proud of the writing we have shared over the past year and I’m incredibly grateful for the people who have shared their own through guest blogs. It’s also been an honor to feature a dozen people and organizations making a difference in the world through our ongoing  #ServiceSpotlight series. I highly recommend revisiting.


If you’re interested in extra reading, here are your favorite Smile blogs from 2023: 


Thank you also to everyone who has engaged with us on social media. Our top five static posts (not including blogs) were:


Some of our favorite memories:

  1. National Random Acts of Kindness Day (February 17)—sharing actionable ways to spread kindness

  2. May/June—cheering the end of the school year with our amazing SPARK Clubs at Westminster College and Slippery Rock University

  3. Attending Rotary Youth Leadership Awards Camp in June for the sixth year as a counselor and seventh year as a speaker presenting on Smile

  4. SPARK Clubs kicking off their eighth consecutive year in August and bringing so much joy and kindness to their communities

  5. Ordering new merchandise for the first time in years. Thrilled to bring GOTS certified 100% organic, climate neutral, made with phthalate free inks, and ethically manufactured t-shirts and crop tops to our community. (Shirts still available and ship nationwide for $25)

  6. Celebrated our 13th birthday on November 9th and recognized 12 full years of daily joy

  7. Shared 365 days of joy. 365 happy moments. 365 positive inspirations


I would be remiss if I didn’t take a moment to say thank you to everyone who has cheered us on this year. Whether sharing a blog post or managing a SPARK Club, committing to your own daily joy through our Ambassador program or generally just acting as a sounding board for our bold ideas, we love you and are immeasurably grateful.



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