Ever since I was five years old, I had a passion for making others smile and bringing communities together. Little toddler me would climb coffee tables and sing Barnie’s, “I LOVE YOU! YOU LOVE ME! WE’RE A HAPPY FAMILY…” To be honest, I’ve always loved people, and I truly live by Smile Squads quote, “Smile and the World will Smile Back.”
I’ve shared my experience about being homeless and how community inspired me to “Pay it Forward.” In the beginning, I didn’t know what giving back would look like. I, however, felt inspired when I saw my dad give thanksgiving dinners to families in transitional housing shelters. It inspired me to create Ignite the Hearts, a movement dedicated to helping those in need. I noticed that through Ignite the Hearts, I was able to connect with strangers who also had the mission of spreading kindness. It was empowering to see a community come together to do good.
When I met Markian, he told me his plan about creating vlogs where we would connect with strangers and help them. At first that idea scared me. I was like, “you want me to go up to a stranger in Ikea and ask them if I could build their furniture in their house? Are you crazy?” His response was, “let’s be a helping hand!”
Shortly After filming that video, I thought about how blessed I am. Not only did we help a family who was going through house renovations and really needed the help, but I also made genuine friends. What were once strangers became my neighbors. That family invited me to their mom’s 50th birthday. Till this day they check in on me, and I care for them so much.
I’ve recorded a lot of videos like that one since then. And Markian’s vision is so beautiful and clear. It’s what I always wanted to do since I was a little girl.
I am so excited to share this video with you all. Here are some of the many connections we made and how we brought smiles to them. Smile Squads mission is still going. We are working harder than ever to bring communities together and spread as many smiles as possible. And I just want to say from the bottom of my heart how grateful I am for everyone’s love and support.
YOU ARE THE REASON WE KEEP FIGHTING. You give us strength, motivation, and your support means so much to us. We can do this together! I am so excited to create change.