A read for you - MADD - Seeds of Happiness

A read for you - MADD

A read for you - MADD

October 10, 2018

Our candlelight vigil for work is this Saturday.  I typically give the “opening remarks.”   Typically I say something about hope, etc.  However, this year I’m giving the closing remarks.  Our “token of honor” or gift to the families that attend are Seeds of Happiness.  I just wanted you to see my closing remarks that I am going to read at our vigil.  As I know you know, I will never forget Dawson and always think of you!!

“I’m sure some of you are wondering about the two, bright red, small, balls you have received from us today.  Some of you might know of them, some might not.  The bright red balls are actually lumps of clay known as “Seeds of Happiness.”  Created by a local sculptor in St. Louis, their main purpose is to help put a smile on the face of anyone who needs it.

In June of this year KSDK ran a local “Feel Good” story.  While watching it, I discovered it was about a friend of mine.  In 2007 Paula and John Ivanowski, lost their young son, Dawson, to a battle with cancer.  These “Seeds of Happiness” were created by a local sculptor to help Paula and John put the smile back on their face after Dawson’s death.  While Paula and John’s son battled with cancer, their friend, the sculptor, didn’t know what to say to them during this difficult time so he did what he knows best…he sculpted clay.  It was that small act of kindness that started “Seeds of Happiness.”  He told them: "I know there is nothing I can say or do to make you feel better so I thought I would bring you some smiles to help you get your smile back.”

While the manner Paula and John lost their son is different than the reason we all gather today, the pain and grief we all share is similar… we grieve for a life that is forever changed or a life that is forever lost.  We wake up every morning wondering how we will continue through this day and the next.  We work hard on creating our new sense of normal in our lives, always wanting or yearning for our old normal back, even if it’s just for brief minutes.

As you can see we gave you two “Seeds of Happiness.”  One of the seeds is a gift we are giving to you, to give you a smile when you may need it.   The other seed we are giving to you is for you to give it to someone that you know who could use a smile.  We many never know the impact that our tiny seed has on someone’s life, but together we can help others along their path of grief.  Please go and spread “Seeds of Happiness” in the world.

After we hear one final song from the Worship Team everyone is invited next door to the church cafe for a small reception.  From myself as well as all of our very dedicated volunteers and staff at the Gateway office, thank you for joining us today as we honor victims and survivors.”


Also in Community Stories

SPARK ⭕ We're making a difference, together

June 18, 2024

So I got my SOH in time for my acts of kindness birthday and in the same day I got another SOH box with a flower and pot. No idea who it was from but it made my night...

Thought I would share some reactions from giving out the SOH to strangers..

A waitress at a bar we hit. "I have had a horrible week and this right here has made it ok, I don't think you realize how much I needed this.”

Stranger on the street "you mean this is for me, to just make me smile?" And then she cried and hugged me..

A waiter 'I think this is the coolest tip I have ever gotten" (we left cash too haha).

Then today I gave away an SOH to a patient that saw it on my desk. She asked what it was and I showed her a card while I checked her in for her appt, she then pulled out her phone to look it up. She seemed really upset today, so I gave her mine. I can always order more. She then said she has to tell her mom and sister about them.

And now my favorite... I sent a few care packages overseas. I got an email last night from a deployed chaplain stating that I made a small group of grown men cry happy tears. I guess it was a bad day- and my package with SOH arrived on that day, and that small reminder to smile just helped.

So I hope on the hard tiring days y'all at SOH know you are making a difference. And you are helping people like me make a difference. All the happiness

- Shawna

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SPARK ⭕ Mentoring with Smiles

June 18, 2024

I originally bought 8 of these cute little seeds of happiness for a group of girls I was mentoring. At the end of our session, I gave each person a seed of happiness and spoke to them on the importance and the importance of spreading happiness throughout the world. The seeds were a HUGE hit. 

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SPARK ⭕ Share a SMILE

June 13, 2024

Just a thank you for what you do. When I went for my chemo yesterday some other kind patient had left a SMILE for each of us. It is now on my desk to offer me a smile whenever I need it. Wanted you to know that what you do matters!

- Melanie

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