Holiday Smiles: My gift of time, care & happiness.
It’s not about having time. It’s about making time.
Always seeking to learn, experience & live new things, I have decided to realize one of the plethora of ideas that daily run through my mind. “Holiday smiles” is my personal project idea that appeared in my mind while discussing with a colleague of mine, a photographer, on December 5th 2012. The idea was so interesting & exciting that I knew I wasn’t going to let it fade away. “Because I am a philanthropist, a photographer & a positive person in pursuit of her passions » is what I tweeted after my meeting.
HOLIDAY SMILES? Making a small difference in a person’s life, interacting & making that person smile, especially during the Holidays. The Holiday season, for many, represents celebration, togetherness, the gathering of family members & friends. This said, my mission was to give my time to those who may agree with this “meaning” & yet not be able to meet it & feel it. In other words, I decided to give my time & share my optimism, energy & caring personality with those who are constantly at higher risks of loneliness: our senior citizens.
« Our society must make it right and possible for old people not to fear the
young or be deserted by them, for the test of a civilization is the way that it
cares for its helpless members » – Pearl Buck
How about giving time to those who have time & for whom it may have a bigger impact on their day… After all. « holidays are about experiences and people, and tuning into what you feel like doing at that moment. Enjoy not having to look at a watch » – Evelyn Glennie
December 21st 2012, the residence in question accepted to welcome me in order to express my mission & make my idea a reality. Christmas hats, camera & a list of lucid residents… my cousin & I were eager & enthusiastic to knock on older people’s doors.
What a beautiful experience rich in emotions, words & smiles! The most touching part of my experience was;
Residents questions & comments:
Why are you giving your time to us? Why are you doing this? Why us? No one gave me a Christmas card this year, why you? My family hasn’t called me for Christmas yet.
Others went further into saying how even their close relatives wouldn’t call them & even consider visiting them. Others really felt unworthy; they felt like they didn’t deserve our time. They claimed that it was too much, that it was nearly unreal that young girls like us would give and make time to visit them, who are “strangers” simply to give them a Christmas hat to wear, make them smile for a picture, print it & then give it to them. I must admit that I had tears in my eyes to hear them say such powerful words such as (unworthy, & undeserving). It made me even sadder to know that such feeling was in part influenced by the absence of visits from their own family & friends!
Making them happy just made my day beautiful. Seeing them smile from the moment we walked in, laugh when we asked them to wear a Christmas hat, & see their eyes glow as we wished them a Merry Christmas was what made the experience worth it. Making memories out of short moments…
What an emotional & unforgettable photoshoot! A success!
& the final result: Holiday Smiles Cards
*I would like to thank the residents who have agreed (in verbal & in written) to participate in my Holiday gift of time, care & happiness project. I would also like to thank my cousin who has been of great assistance in the realization of my “Holiday Smiles” project.
You truly are an inspiring woman!