Tuesday, December 27, 2011

#50 Teens Thanks YOU!

It feels like just yesterday our project started and now its done. The event was amazing and went off without a hitch. The kids were thrilled and spoiled. We laughed, we cried, we worked our asses off. With your tremendous support we did it and we can't thank you enough. We can however celebrate our successful event with a wrap-up party. If you were involved, encouraged us, donated, thought about us, retweeted us or just want to know what we did we invite you to come celebrate with us January 9th, 2012. All the details can be found here http://guestlistapp.com/events/83397. We are so proud of what we accomplished and can't wait to share it with you.

On a personal note, I am completely indebted to my partner Melissa for pushing her vision forward and letting me be a part of it. This is only the beginning.

I encourage you to continue to donate to projects like 5 Dollar Project and Food Love so we can continue to work towards a better world for all of us. Kindness is free and multiplies every time it is given away. Give freely of your time and resources and the world will be a better place.

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Its here...

3 months ago this project started out as a simple way to make people smile. In such a short time we have evolved into so much more and today our biggest project comes to fruition. All the sleepless nights, tears, heartaches, joy, love and brainsplosions have become the beautiful #50teens4Christmas.

I give this beautiful project full credit for the amazing turn my life has taken. I've seen humanity at its best, I met the woman who shares the other half of my soul, I've seen ordinary people do the extraordinary, I've felt support like i have never felt, I've fallen in love.

Today when I dress my beautiful daughter for school, I can do so knowing that she will grow up in a better world. That all the missed good night kisses will be worth it. That she will be loved and flourish in a world where she can do anything as long as she believes she can. That love, compassion and kindness will keep us safe and warm.

I wish I could personally thank each and every person that made this possible but that is impossible. Hundreds and hundreds of people have made this event happen. The days people simply reached out to tell us what we were doing was worth it are the days I cherish.

Homelessness changed my life. Now, it has also saved my life and given me purpose.

#50teens4Christmas may not touch everyone's life. It may not even touch the lives of all 50 teens involved, but if it opens a door for 1 kid to get off the street then my work and the work of everyone involved will have been worth it.

Love made this event possible. You made this event possible.

"Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous;

love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly;

it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered,

does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth;

bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

Love never fails...But now faith, hope, love, abide these three; but the greatest of these is love."

1 Corinthians 13:4-7,13

Friday, December 9, 2011

My Accidental Life: #FF

From my other blog... It is so important to be thankful. My Accidental Life: #FF: So twitter tends to think of #FF as Follow Friday... Im changing this up a little here today. I was driving along in my van praying it would...

Monday, November 14, 2011


I know I am behind on keeping you all updated on how things are going with 5 Dollar, and all the great things we've been up to. Well thats because we've been busy working hard to make things happen. Right now though, I'm personally asking for help.

As you know, we teamed up with FoodLove KW for #50teens4Christmas and we have been working our butts off. Unfortunately we've run into a few snags along the way and despite wishing, praying and 70 hour weeks, we can't overcome them alone. We need help.

First off, we need to get our information out there to people. We are tweeting and facebooking and emailing and talking ourselves blue but we need more. We need some media attention, we need some big corporations spreading the word within their companies, WE NEED YOU telling people how they can help by donating to #50teens4Christmas.

Secondly, we need money. As crass and abrupt as that may be to say, its truth. Due to some unforeseen sponsor drop outs, venue changes and exorbitant Christmas price mark ups we straight to the point need cash. Now were not asking you to just throw money at us for nothing. We have the amazing donation give-a-way set up with prizes that certainly hold their own. Concert tickets, electronics, gift certificates, toys, one of a kind memorabilia - thousands of dollars worth of prizes and all people need to do is donate... ANYTHING. Were poor, we know money is tight, seriously 5 bucks - 2 bucks - the quarters in the bottom of your purse, we will take it and we will enter you in the draw!

No Paypal? No problem! Cash, cheque, email money transfer - we will take it any way you want to give it to us. We will come to you!

We are personally putting our blood, sweat, tears, man hours and money in to this. We WILL be giving these teens a Christmas. But my god we need help.


So please, I am begging you. Help us help some kids that have nothing. You can Spread Smiles so easily this year. So easily. Tis the season. Donate HERE

or HERE >

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Help Me - Get Rewarded!

So, we're not really a giveaway blog... Well we are a giveaway blog but were not a contest blog. You all know what I mean. That being said... here's a contest with a giveaway!

I hope you have all been reading up on #50Teens4Christmas, and if you have been you know our draw prizes are going up every day. Well we need your help getting people over to donate and get their names in to the giveaway.

So here is the deal!

I spent the weekend at the Ah-Mazing Blissdom Canada conference in Toronto Ontario and one of the amazing sponsors was Fisher Price. They spoiled the ba-jebus out of us. Including the coolest COOLEST thing for any techy parent out there!

The Apptivity Case for iPhones and iPods blew my mind. Open back, insert iDevice, close back and BOOM... No drool, dropping, button pressing damage. This thing is genius! It says 6 months and up... My 3yo thinks it rocks. She is constantly losing my ipod and it makes me bananas! Can't lose it now! And if your kid is older like mine, put the ipod in upside-down and they can hit the home button to change games on their own.

Well, I *may* have somehow ended up with a spare one (thanks Marci!) and I would like you to have it. So here's how it's going down!

2 options:

1 - Tweet using the hashtag #DonateToWin and the link http://tinyurl.com/69orlss about our giveaway

2 - Post below about how you're going to help promote our fundraiser in a creative way

You will get one entry for each entry! You can tweet up to 5 times, so total you can have 6 entries!

Since this prize happens to be in my hot little hands... This is open WORLDWIDE!

Winner will be chosen randomly on the same day as our early bird draw! November 1st!

So... Get promoting!!

Monday, October 17, 2011

BOOM! Biggest Bombing Yet!

I think I'm going to let the video explain this one but thank you SO much to SylvanLinkwith Heffner Lexus Toyota for giving us the grand tour and helping us spread some smiles... in fact our biggest smile spread EVER! Almost 200 people in under an hour! How's that for a giant candy bomb?! Couldn't have been done without one of my main Smile Spreaders - The Incomparable Jacki Yo!

Friday, October 7, 2011

Uh Oh

Headed out to do some brainstorming with Melissa from Food Love the other day and made a rookie mistake, I locked my keys inside my car.

Luckily for me I have wonderful friends like Sylvan from Heffner Lexus Toyota in Kitchener (Who you will meet shortly!) to run to my rescue! Sylvan came and called roadside and got a lovely tow truck driver to release my keys from their locked prison.

Of course, the 5 Dollar Project passed on some 5 dollar love. Remember folks, appreciate the people that work for you, with you, around you and on behalf of you.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Meet The Mayor

Saturday we candy bombed my friends Diane and Lisa's event, #MeFest. I handed out over 100 candies and spread as many smiles as possible, and then something super exciting happened!

Lisa ran over and grabbed me and said "You have to meet the Mayor!!"

Thats right, Brenda Halloran, the Mayor of Waterloo and I met. I got to tell her all about us here at 5 Dollar Project and she even donated 5 dollars!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

SCCTO gets Candy Bombed!

Oh man that candy bombings have been coming fast and furious!! Starting with the She's Connected conference in Toronto last week. 200+ women was slightly intimidating and I had a slow start but once I got going... there was NO stopping! Including when my friends Lisa, Diane and I candy bombed the lobby of the very swank, very busy Sheraton hotel and conference centre!

Now see this last picture? This was AMAZING! This woman is Julie Marshall, the Canadian spokesperson for the United Nations World Food Programme. I had a chance to chat with Julie and learned that for 5 dollars you could buy a stove for a family in Sri Lanka to cook on so they didn't have to cross the minefields to gather wood. 5 DOLLARS! So we have paired up with the UN's World Food Programme so that you can donate to them on behalf of us here at the 5 Dollar Project! For more information head over to the "Be A Smile Sponsor" page and click on the UN logo!

Sunday, October 2, 2011


Seems I've gotten behind updating all of you lately but with good reason! We've been SO busy out spreading smiles and gathering awesomeness!

Maybe you noticed our new logo? The fabulous Lindsey Jacobs of www.LindseyJacobs.com designed our beautiful new logo and we can't thank her enough!!

We also can't thank our sponsors enough! Thanks to our newest generous sponsors we will be doing our first large scale "card bombing"... 50, 5 dollar gift cards in an hour is our goal! I will be announcing the date and location very soon!!

Big thanks to

Jeff Pulver


The SoConnected Team

We have also been talking to a very reputable charity about allowing people to donate 5 dollars on behalf of The 5 Dollar Project to provide stoves to women in Sri Lanka. 5 dollars will actually buy a family a stove. Proof 5 dollars can change the world! Watch for more info coming super soon!

Monday, September 26, 2011

Thank You!

My running around like a crazy person has been an absolute dream come true! Making people smile might be the MOST fun you can have legally. It's thanks to you guys that I can keep doing it.

Let's be honest, I am poor. Like ridiculously poor. I couldn't afford to do this to the magnitude I am without you guys behind me. The donations we receive make this possible. YOU are the smile spreaders! YOU are the ones who believe in the 5 Dollar Project! YOU! I am just a gateway, this is your party.

Donations arn't just monetary. We have had help with graphics, webpages, brain storms and I can't wait to tell you about all of them!

Today I want to take a moment and recognize a few people who have made monetary donations to the 5 Dollar Project. I can't wait to show you what your money can and will do!

Bre Creative is our newest Super Smile Sponsor!

Our Newest Smile Sponsors:

James Harris

Pam Salisbury

Remember You can make your donations on our Be A Smile Sponsor page through PayPal or With Interact Email Money Transfers from your banking institution to The5DollarProject@gmail.com

Saturday, September 24, 2011

The 5 Dollar Project Remembers

Friday September 16th, 2011 our dear friend Corina lost her beautiful mother Marlene to cancer.

The next day her closest friends rallied around her to talk, cry, laugh and remember her Mom. Corina shared stories and feelings, as we shared hugs and support. Sitting around our pastries and coffee, I realized that kindness came in many shapes and forms.

Today we gathered to celebrate the life of Marlene Hill. Wife, mother, sister, grandmother, aunt and friend. The church was packed, requiring a live camera feed to the packed basement room as well. As I watched people hug, tell stories and lean on each other I saw kindness in so many forms.

I saw kindness in words, kindness in gentle looks, kindness in flowers and sandwiches. I listened to people talk about the life of a woman whose life revolved around kindness, love and an infectious smile. People volunteered their time and talents out of kindness. We were all connected in grief and the desire to support the family through their most difficult moment.


So many people loved Marlene because of her kindness.

I was honoured to be in the company of people who knew her so well, spreading their kindness like a blanket over the hurting hearts of Marlenes loved ones.

Kindness is not just a one time affair. Living a life of kindness over and above the random acts is important. Open doors, offer help, let someone in in traffic, give up a seat on the bus, smile.

Today the 5 Dollar Project takes a moment to remember the remarkable life of Marlene Hill.

Marlene Hill
January 24, 1950 - September 16, 2011

Friday, September 23, 2011

Rainy Days

Ah the rain, it just keeps coming. Luckily for us, gift cards don't melt in the rain!

The cashier at Short Stop seemed to be having a bummer day to match the weather so I thought I would spread a smile there. She was really happy about our project! To quote "I love people that do things like that!"

Short Stop Girl! I forgot to get your name! I hope you see this and let us know! And I hope your day got better as it went on!

(Whoa, what is up with my hair? lol)

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Our First Smile Spreaders!

Today I got 2 wonderful messages from Smile Spreaders!

Katherine in Burlington, Ontario told us about how she put a post-it note with our website on a gift card and asked the employee working the drive thru to pass it to the person in line behind her. According to Katherine the woman looked shocked and in awe! Katherine waved and drove away.

Brilliant! THIS is what this project is about! And post-it notes! What a wonderful idea! I'll be honest, I totally used this idea tonight!

Good luck little card!

Jacki in Kitchener, Ontario decided to get her kids involved! And balloons! They hit the park and gave balloons to both kids AND adults and asked them to spread a little happy around in return. What an amazing way to get the kids involved Jacki! And thanks for the beautiful pictures!

So Many Cookies It's Bananas!

More Smile cookies from Tim Hortons went out today! These ones bought in Cambridge so the proceeds are going to Nutrition For Learning!

First stop? Mike and Kayleigh at Property Guys Waterloo-Wellington!

While I was there I learned Kayleigh plays the trumpet and Mike is an AVID runner!

Then I was off to The Sign Depot! Not only for cookies but to wish my dear friend Lisa a happy happy birthday!

The guys were fantastic sports and SO creative! Did you know theres currently a glow in the dark dinosaur living in the Sign Depot shop?


You have all heard of #FollowFriday on twitter, but how about Pay It Forward Friday? #PIFF?

Our friend Neil Hedley came up with a fabulous idea you can read here. We even got a shout out!

Tell us about how you spread a smile with the 5 Dollar Project Fridays using the hashtag #PIFF and maybe just maybe we can help make you smile too!!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Just Like The Mailman...

No kind of weather can keep the 5 Dollar Project down!! Even in the rain , Molly was kind enough to smile for us and plans on passing on a smile tomorrow at work!

Molly in Cambridge's favourite colour is blue!! We like blue too Molly!

Our First Gift Card!

Now the whole base of the 5 Dollar Project was to give out 5 dollar gift cards to make people smile. As the giver, your job is to get a picture and find out something about the person you're giving to. Be interested! Everyone wants to feel like someone is listening. As the reciever, your job was to spread the word. Either by talking to people about the 5 Dollar Project or by passing on a gift card to someone else and becoming the giver.


Main questions that people asked were "What agency are you with?" and "Why?". It saddens me to think that people assume only charities can be charitable. Every. Single. Person. is capable of spreading a smile. Random acts of awesome do not always have a secret agenda, sometimes people are just looking to brighten your day.

That being said...


While I was in at Carbon Computing handing out cookies there was a young woman there getting her computer repaired. Knowing my attachment to my computer I figured a broken computer was probably bumming her out. After checking with Matt the manager (Always check before bothering customers! Were here to spread smiles not piss off businesses!!), I asked if I could give her a gift card.


Here is Alicia and I at Carbon Computing in downtown Kitchener! Alicia is a mac user. Hope your computer is all fixed up now!

Smile Cookies = Smiling People

Gibson Sound and Vision got in on the smile cookie love!

So did the Eyelight team!

The Carbon Computing guys dove right in!

The Community Justice Initiative office took a quick cookie break!

Thanks to everyone who took the time to smile with me on my first (kind of rough) day spreading the word about The 5 Dollar Project.

This is only the beginning!