How it Began!
In 2011 my friend's husband was being deployed for a year. Everyone was there to support her when he left, but what about the weeks, holidays, special occasions, and challenging months that followed? I immediately wanted to keep that support for the duration of his deployment and so developed SMILES. We rallied 52 people together and assigned them each a week to reach out and connect with my friend and her family during the deployment. Our goal - simply to bring a smile to the recipient, often times unsuspecting.
The acronym for SMILES started as Supporting Mom's Inspiring Lives Enriching Spirits, but since our first SMILES the M has changed depending on the circumstance - Missions, Military, Men, Memories and Moments.
Over the course of this journey we have provided several meals, some for those undergoing treatment for cancer, toys for children who lost their home in a fire, weeks of support for children, wives and parents who have lost a loved one, goodie baskets after a hospital stay, tickets to an experience, a heartfelt note and even a flock of flamingos delivered in the shape of a smile! Our SMILES have even reached children in Haiti.
We are excited to see the places and people that SMILES have touched and look forward to watching SMILES continue to spread!