SAN DIEGO (NEWS 8) – A campaign to spread a little happiness has made its way to San Diego.
The Smile Project was started seven years ago with the purpose of helping young people develop leadership skills through acts of kindness.
On Wednesday, many smiles were created during a fundraiser for military veterans on the deck of the USS Midway.
“The main thing that has stuck to me is the human connection we have made with people – different parts of the world and different beliefs,” said The Smile Project’s Liz Buechele.
Liz was only 17-years-old when she started The Smile Project in 2011, when she was driving home and overcome with happiness. “Happiness is the perfect car ride where the radio plays all the right songs.”
Liz posted over 2,300 consecutive days of happiness and it gained a following that does not require a lot of money. “It can be as simple as holding the door for someone, asking someone how there day is, stopping to help someone. Things we take for granted, the little actions make the biggest difference.”
The Smile Project and the Travis Manion Foundation (a non-profit that empowers veterans), teamed up to deliver letters to San Diego’s military veterans.
Liz and Zack Shively, with the Travis Manion Foundation, set out on a 56-day pay it forward kindness always tour. During the tour the duo is connecting with non-profits to pay it forward to the next city – handmade teddy bears for a women’s shelter, cards for hospital patients and letters for veterans who are donating school supplies to students in Los Angeles.
“This is an amazing project. It just shows how kindness spreads around the county regardless of someone’s circumstance,” said Vishal Amin, a veteran with the Travis Manion Foundation.
On Thursday, the Travis Manion Foundation will be stuffing backpacks with the donated school supplies for The Smile Project to take to Los Angeles.
You can follow The Smile Project’s road trip here.