Last Friday was World Smile Day (WSD). I celebrated the day by, well, smiling. I passed out 277 WSD stickers at Morningside Elementary to students, parents, and grandparents as they came for a free pancake/egg breakfast hosted by the Great Falls Lions Club. I got 277 smiles back. After that, I smiled my way through the GFHS Homecoming pep assembly and parade. Check out the Facebook page for pictures of the event. They will make you smile too. The day continued with one opportunity to smile after another. It was a perfect day of celebration!

WSD was founded by artist Harvey Ball, the same guy that created the iconic smiley face, one of the most recognizable symbols of good will and good cheer in the world. He organized WSD to encourage us to devote one day each year to smiles and kind acts. It’s always the first Friday in October. Find out more about it at

All that smiling on Friday got me thinking…shouldn’t every day be WSD? Shouldn’t every day be a day to smile at others and to do kind acts for others? There are so many opportunities if we just open our hearts to them.

For example, the elementary schools just kicked off Bully Prevention Month with school-wide assemblies where they were challenged by to start an explosion of kindness. They were challenged to develop a habit of kindness by writing down every act of kindness they do for 15 days. I bet those acts create a lot of smiling too. They are also doing a shoe drive. Used shoes are being collected at each elementary school to be sent to children in Africa so they can go to school. Just thinking about that makes me smile. Feel free to donate this week. If you do, I bet it makes you smile.

And then there’s the coat drive that is starting this week for the Community Coat Closet to be housed at My Neighbor in Need. Among other places, donations can be dropped off at the DOB. It makes me smile to think about kids in warm coats on cool fall and winter days.

And then there are the fundraisers that are currently taking place: Sacajawea’s for Rachel, the student that was burned in an airplane crash; GFHS’s Make-a-Wish collection to send a little guy to Disney World; the food drives for the pantries; and many others. Every single day there is an opportunity to do something nice for someone else. Every day there are numerous reasons to smile.

So while it was great celebrating WSD last Friday, I’m going to take Mr. Ball’s smiley face with me every day to promote good will and good cheer. Won’t you join me? 

Take care. Be safe. Stay well.