Lots of smiles shared!
I must say that I am not surprised in the least...our RuffleButts fans are the best! I am so blessed to be able to work with the most amazing retailers and customers. I sent out a call for smiles this week with our "Share the Smiles" Project and you all answered with some amazing stories to share!
Amanda Berntson is a student at Barry University and she sent in this story:
"Once a year, a day goes by that is for couples and special someones, Valentines Day. My parents got divorced when I was about 4 years old, and since then my Mom never really has had a definite valentine. So every year I have been my Mom's. Even though this day isn't exactly a relevant holiday, I always like to make it special for her so every year I do something different, whether it be simple special card telling her how grateful I am for her to be in my life or a small gift card for her to buy something new for herself. Every year when I was little and even up through high school and today she would always surprise me with a Valentine's Day gift, and I have always felt that she deserves one more than I. So this year I sent her a beautiful card, with a special heart box of Ghirardelli Square Dark Chocolates, which will probably last her a year. I love doing this for her because she deserves something special, and someone special more than anyone else I know and I know that one day someone deserving of her will take my place, but she will always be my special Valentine."
I can totally relate to Amanda's story, as I was also raised by a single-mom that always put me ahead of herself. This is such a sweet story of a grateful daughter, giving back a smile to a mom that I'm sure gave her so many through the years!
Jennifer Prather, a good friend and RuffleButt Representative wrote in:
"I was a host for a progressive dinner for some college kids last night. We had about 24 Lincoln Christian College kids sign up to come. (who would want to pass up good, free food right?!!!) Anyway, I was a host house and had two sets of the kids in. the first set was for soup and salad. Then the second set was for the main course. It was a lot of fun, plus they really appreciated the idea and thoughtfulness of the community coming together for them!!"
One of our favorite Australian retailers, Sally at Fairy Kisses, shared this story:
I told a widowed husband whose son is my son's friend this story on Tuesday, and it made him laugh harder than I have heard him laugh before:
My 7 year old came and asked me when he would be old enough to shave. My husband has a beard, so I was not too surprised. I said "Shave like Daddy? Not until you are about 18." He said "Ha, ha, Mum", in a voice like I was making some lame joke, then "I mean when will I be old enough to shave my legs like you do." The innocence of children is just beautiful isn't it!
I say it everyday, but I couldn't have picked a better clientele...incredible moms and innocent children!
My mom, who is obviously such a huge inspiration to me was on a roll after receiving her "Share the Smile" announcement:
"After receiving my "Share the Smiles" email, I decided to take a few minutes to make some phone calls to loved ones that may not get as much attention as they deserve. My first phone call was to a friend in an assisted living facility. She is so loving, but doesn't get many visitors, so is very lonely at times. I then made a quick call to my father-in-law in Kentucky and Dad down in Florida. The great thing about this project is that it always comes full-circle. I made these calls to brighten their day, but really it came right back to me. Smiles are contagious!"
What can I say, I am one proud daughter!!
Okay, for my story...I figured that if I was asking for your time to contribute to this project, that my goal should be one smile a day! This was even easier than I expected, so I'll just share a couple of the stories! My first 5 minutes went to my Aunt Pat down in Birmingham, AL. My Aunt is one of the most incredibly strong women I have ever met, and God has definitely given her a workout for this strength! Although my Aunt has a lot on her plate at the moment, she has taken a tremendous amount of time out of her schedule lately to support a friend in need. I took a few minutes to send up an extra little prayer for my Aunt and her friend and then made a quick phone call to send my love.
My next story I have to keep somewhat vague because the gift has not yet arrived...I have many incredibly supportive friends, but I have one special friend that has been a very big help to me and this business. I was working from my home office up until December of last year, which was a bit straining on me personally as well as my family. This friend offered to "rent" me space in his office and opened his doors to me like I was one of the family. Not only has he never once given me a "rent bill", he has allowed me to take over the office with boxes and meetings and everything else! I took a few minutes out of my day to order a small gift to say thank you!
These small acts of kindness are not monumental, nor do they take an incredible amount of effort. This is just a little reminder that sharing a smile with someone in your life is an easy task that can make a very big difference. If you have a story to share, please post a comment below. Thank you so much to those that took the time to share your stories - I'm sure your effort will inspire others to keep sharing the smiles! Have a great week!