Take a Smile

 Societal Issues Targeted:

1) Reminding people they are surrounded by happy, friendly people.
2) Building trust in the community and closing the distance between us all.

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Intro:

A simple, easy to organise activity which is heaps of fun, and a super direct way to bring a smile to your city!

Instructions:

1) Draw smiley faces around the outside of a sheet of paper and write “Take a Smile” in the middle (in any language).

2) Cut around the smiles making strips

3) Take to the streets EVERYONE you meet to TAKE A SMILE!

protip #1: its fun to meet in a coffee shop or park and decorate signs together right before the gathering

protip #2: people’s 1st reaction is that you are selling something, so i offer once and then encourage them to look again by saying something like ‘go on, its just a smile’ – the reassurance that its not a sale normally gets them to look, and then they are happy to take one (and smile!)

So that’s it, this is a really simple activity which is more fun than trying to catch a greased pig, in a pit fill of jelly(o) while wearing an inflatable clown costume!

Take a Smile gives smiles to people, who in turn spread them around where you live, raising the overall happiness levels a little, and reminding everyone that the community they live in is full of happy, friendly people who will share their time just to make them smile ..like an antidote or band-aid to the narrow pessimistic view of the world highlighted by newspapers and the news. Its a wonderful, happy and fun way to spend a few hours of action, giving smiles!

To set one up today just:
1. pick a day, time and meeting point.
2. Create an activity on our Gatherings Map
3. Copy it over to social media and invite some friends to meet for coffee and drawing sessions
protip #3: i usually write in the description the coffee+drawing, and giving out smile times, so people know they need to get there for the 1st part to join in the second. it takes 30min – 1hr
4. Walk around town together giving everyone you meet a smile to take home :O)

More Pro- Tips:

  • You ARE doing something unusual and lots of people will think you are trying to sell them something, so this positive action activity takes a little more patience than others – but stick with it as the reactions are beautiful from people who see that it is just nothing more than a smile :0)
  • its fun to meet somewhere and making the signs together over coffee.
  • Numbers really aren’t important, I did this activity first time with just one other person, and we had one of the most fun afternoon’s ever – so don’t stress about numbers. Two of you is more than enough to have an excellent time!
  • Its always fun to socialise afterwards in a bar or park
  • Please write an article to post photos to share your experiences and happiness with the rest of the Focallocal community, and to inspire others to run their own a Take a Smile Gathering :O) 

Projects

Take a Smile is a tool when used as an kind and friendly gesture to show support and encouragement to those likely to be feeling isolated in your community. For example outside an immigration centre

 

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