An interview by the wonderful people at ServiceSpace

 

The short version: A set of Signs travels from place to place, Sprinkling Happiness all over the world.

The longer version:

Laura Lavigne

Laura Lavigne

The whole thing started in May 2012 when a friend posted a photo on Laura Lavigne’s  Facebook wall.

The photo was of a few people wearing bright orange jumpsuits and holding signs with cool messages over their heads. It seemed a great match to the Center for Happiness.

A conversation started, fueled by Laura’s invitation: “Hey, this is so cool. Who wants to do it with me?”

People responded with enthusiasm and when asked what Signs they would like to hold, what message they would like to broadcast, the words poured in.

It was becoming so much fun and this was going to happen for sure.

Next, Laura asked  a local printing company if they would be willing to donate the signs and they said YES!

Anacortes Happiness smallSo, on May 22,  a very giddy group met at the park wearing bright yellow shirts and marched over to Anacortes’ main intersection, a corner which is usually populated by  political demonstrations… and Sprinkled Happiness.

It was awesome. The honking, the waving, the joy going out and coming back in … whew. Everyone went home a little high.

The Signs were put away and while they made a brief appearance again during the 4th of July Parade, Fourth of July we thought that was the end of that.

 

 

In September, Laura was invited to be part of a fun event in Seattle, called “Parking Day.” At the last minute, she decided to throw a few Signs in the back of her car to decorate the booth and at the end of day, as the event was winding down, she and a few people stood on a busy corner and did a little impromptu “Happiness Sprinkling.”

Holy Moly.

Again, people honked, several joined in  – see Jimmy’s account below – some asked to have their pictures taken with the Signs (a couple had just dropped off their daughter at college for the first time, and handed us their phone to take their photo as together, for their daughter, they held the “Be You,” “You Are Enough” and “You Are Loved” Signs. We never saw the picture but we have a feeling it must have been really special).

Then a woman asked if she could hold a Sign and we handed her “It’s Going to Be Alright.” After a few minutes, we turned around to look at her and she was holding that Sign straight in front of her, a tear running down her a cheek.

That did it.

The next day, Laura went about the business of making sure not only the Signs wouldn’t get put away again, but that they would travel, Sprinkling Happiness all over the world. And that more Signs would join them.

“This is the most amazing project I have ever been a part of. I want to personally thank you so much for sharing this experience with us so we could share it with others. It is definitely contagious. So many people were telling us how much this was needed and how grateful they were. So many hugs, high fives and just smiles… It was so uplifting to be a part of this for all of us! My heart is still singing….All our hearts are. We definitely touched some lives today!”

A successful Kickstarter event was set up, and voila!

“Me, my husband, two of my daughters and two of my grand kids did the happiness sprinkling in Olympia, it was so much fun, we all got a great feeling from doing it. One of my daughters that has some depression issues told me that it made her feel so good to get out and share these wonderful messages with other people.
I think our town needs to be sprinkled also,
Thank you for starting this wonderful project.”

Several months later, we are growing a strong tribe of Happiness Ambassadors, who have held Sprinklings in over 20 cities and across two countries. The Happiness Sprinkling Project has been featured in newspapers, radio interviews and has been on the evening news.

“One of my daughters that has some depression issues told me that it made her feel so good to get out and share these wonderful messages with other people.
I think our town needs to be sprinkled also,
Thank you for starting this wonderful project.”

It is magical.

“What an exhilarating Happiness Sprinkling Day in the south side of Chicago!   Thank you!  Day after day we hear nothing but about shootings, shootings and more shootings. Suffice it to say that MANY people have asked us to sprinkle more happiness in Chicago.”

And in June 2013, The Happiness Sprinkling Project was the very happy recipient of a grant from The Pollination Project.

It is so simple that is almost silly. It is so much fun that it can hardly be considered “work.” Yet, it is powerful, powerful work.

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