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

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!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Rough Starts

So like every venture, The 5 Dollar Project hit some rough patches getting started but not to worry! I worked around it!

After awhile pounding pavement attempting to give away gift cards, I was getting discouraged. People are so closed off and suspicious of things, makes me sad really. The number of "I'm in a hurry", "Not interested" and "No hablas anglais"'s I got was a little concerning quite frankly.

Sweaty, tired, discouraged, I went to my happy place - Twitter. I realised I needed a new approach, a new direction, an easier start. I tweeted asking who was at work at a small business in the Waterloo region, got 4 businesses and the number of employees they had and hit the nearest Tim Hortons.

This week is Smile Cookie week at Tim Hortons donates all the money from the sales of their smile cookies to a local charity, in our case, kidsability. Roughly 50 smile cookies later I was on my way to #SpreadSmiles.

First stop? Community Justice Initiatives and my buddy Jason, then I was off to see Matt at Carbon Computing, Annie at Gibsons Sound and Vision and Lise Anne at Eyelight Inc.

Matt even managed to help me give out my FIRST gift card to one of his customers!

Watch for the pictures!