A smile is a universal symbol of joy.
Think about the last time you saw someone genuinely smile...
You probably smiled too. Did you feel an instant connection?
No matter where in the world you go -- regardless of culture, language, or socioeconomic differences -- a smile has the power to connect you with anyone on a human-to-human level.
Smiles of Humanity is a project to help the homeless through empathy and human connection, starting with a smile.
Transform sympathy to empathy and create a compassionate society.
Sometimes we forget that homeless people are human too -- they're our neighbors, just temporarily without homes. Homeless people are stripped of their dignity, ignored, avoided, and seen as “other” which is demoralizing and isolating (if you've ever felt lonely, you know how this can hinder any positive personal progress).
This dismissal grows the gap between being homeless and getting back on their feet.
Helping homeless people doesn't perpetuate the problem -- our disregard does. A sense of belonging cultivates empathy, encouraging them to care too. Sometimes it takes someone else to care about you for you to realize your worth and care about yourself.
It's our responsibility to help our neighbors -- living in homes and out of homes alike. Our compassion will create a better world for everyone who lives in it.
Common perception of homeless people.
The stigma of homelessness generates fear, guilt, disregard and sadness in our community -- anchored in sympathy.
Shifting perceptions to humanize the homeless.
Together as a community, we can tackle the stigma by sharing their experiences of joy -- cultivating empathy.
Phase 1: Transforming Sympathy to Empathy
Gallery Launch (Tentatively August 1, 2019) + Supporting Digital Content
You walk into a bright gallery and see large beautiful and colorful portraits around the room. The genuine smiles draw you in and instantly create an emotional connection with you. You learn each person's story -- how they became homeless, what they've dealt with while living on the streets. Most importantly, you learn what they find joy in -- what makes them smile. This relatability transforms your sympathy to empathy and makes you want to help. You get the opportunity to give and this space becomes a launchpad for compassion, spreading joy and strengthening our community.
Phase 2: Transforming Empathy to Compassion
Subscription-Based Donation MVP Launch (Tentatively May 5)
You know that feeling you get when you drive up to a stoplight, but don't have cash on you? You keep looking forward, avoid eye contact, feel guilty, pretend they aren't there. That entire interaction generates negative energy.
Now imagine, you drive up to a stoplight, knowing you have a pre-prepared little gift that will make the person smile. You eagerly make eye contact, roll down your window and hand the person items that they can use. You share a smile. Your interaction created positive energy for both of you. The guilt or fear behind cash possibly going to drugs is replaced with genuine care and joy.
Sign up to donate $1 a day and every month, you'll get a subscription box mailed right to your door. The box is filled with a smile, a story, and Smile Gifts to keep in your car. This model minimizes effort, while generating donations. The magic is in reaping the benefits of feeling the joy when you share a smile and kindness with a person out of empathy.
All items are donated by companies, assembled initially in-house, and mailed individually for an MVP test group of 10 people.
Join us, it'll make you happier.
Sign up to get your Smile Gifts
- For $1 a day, you'll get a Smile Gift box delivered to your door every month.
- This box includes a Smile Gift to share with a homeless person you cross paths with every day.
- When you receive your box, put it in your car and look forward to giving someone a smile every day on your drive.
Once you sign up using this form, we'll send you an invoice for your record-keeping. Then, you'll see the subscription donation come through every month until you decide to stop giving.