Take a Smile

 Societal Issues Targeted:

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


Take a Smile is a simple and fun activity that will make you give a smile to your own city! Through this event, we can give smiles to people, who in turn spread them around the community, raising the overall happiness levels a little and reminding everyone that the city they live in is full of happy, friendly people who will share their time just to make people smile. It’s like an antidote or a band-aid to the narrow pessimistic view of the world highlighted by newspapers and the news!


Studies have shown that smiling releases endorphins, natural pain killers, and serotonin. Smiling helps the immune system to work better. Meaning, when you smile, there is a measurable reduction in your blood pressure. Together these make us feel good and help produce a feeling of well-being and composure. So don’t forget to give someone a smile today!


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

2) Cut around the smiles to make strips.

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


  • It’s fun to meet in a coffee shop or a park and decorate signs together with your friends right before the gathering.
  • People’s initial reaction is that you are selling something, so you can offer once and then encourage them to look again by clarifying that it’s for free and for a good cause! The reassurance that it’s not something for sale normally gets them to look, and then they become happy to take one and smile.
  • Numbers really aren’t important. I did this activity first time with just one other person, and we had one  fun afternoon right after – so don’t stress about numbers. Two of you is more than enough to have an excellent time!
  • It’s always fun to socialize afterwards in a bar or park
  • Please write an article where you can post photos and share your experiences with the rest of the Focallocal community, and to inspire others to run their own Take a Smile gathering in their city 🙂


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.
4. Walk around town together, giving everyone you meet a smile to take home or bring to their day 🙂



  • https://www.researchgate.net/publication/254264548_The_effect_of_smiling_on_helping_behavior_Smiling_and_good_Samaritan_behavior
  • https://www.psychologicalscience.org/observer/the-psychological-study-of-smiling
  • https://www.aana.com/docs/default-source/wellness-aana.com-web-documents-(all)/when-you’re-smiling.pdf?sfvrsn=7e224bb1_4


Take a Smile is also conducted to show a kind gesture, support, and encouragement to those likely to be feeling isolated in a certain community (i.e. outside an immigration center)


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