I am a sucker for a feel-good story. When I read about random acts of kindness or how people pay it forward, I get a little emotional. Jack walks in my office and I’m watching a YouTube video, crying/smiling/eating Cheetos, and he just slowly exits to escape me before I yell, “COME HERE COME HERE WATCH THIS you’re gonna SOBBBBB!”
When my pals at Invisalign approached me about their new Smile It Forward campaign and offered me $500 to spend to make other people smile, I was like YEAAA this is my jam. I’m in! (You’d think I’d act a little bit more professionally via email, but I’ve lost all sense of propriety with them and frequently send over cat GIFs. Sorry, Invisalign.)
I hemmed and hawed over how to spend the money (should I just donate it all to a charity?), but in the end, the idea being “making people smile” inspired me to gift it to several people in several different ways. Here’s the line-up:
1) Purchased a cute diaper bag for a new mom. She was like :D :D :D.
2) Hit up a drive-thru and paid for the beverages of the people behind me. This was oddly adrenaline-inducing. So cool to see the woman behind me hand the cashier money, look confused, try to figure out who I was, then give me a happy wave. It cost $5, and it was really fun. Highly recommend.
3) Now that I’m a mom, I think about all of the milestones I’m looking forward to having with my daughters. I know a wonderful girl about a decade younger than me that was unable to have a sweet mother-daughter relationship that I am excited about developing with my girls. I took her to Sephora and bought this girl her first lipstick. It seems weird, I’m not her mom, and she’s legally an adult, but for just a few minutes, I mommed her or big sistered her, and neither of us seemed to mind.
4) A woman I know has a huge heart and does generous, quiet things for others. No one knows, because she doesn’t broadcast it. I left a gift from Sephora (you guys, I like Sephora) on her doorstep.
5) Purchased Starbucks gift cards for some Starbucks loving people (e-gift cards are amazing; I sent one to a girl in Hawaii!).
6) Tweens and teens totally get a bad rep (have you been to a mall lately? I mean…), but there are great ones out there, for sure. I took a straight-A eighth grader shopping and we picked out new clothes for her.
7) I emailed a Gap gift card to a blogger. Her blog has been a great source of entertainment and inspiration over the years, so I sent it over with a note telling her so. :)
8) I purchased a cleaning sesh from a local housecleaner (small biz, yeeeaah!) and gave it to a family with a newborn, a toddler, and a preschooler. Their house will be spotless for at LEAST twenty minutes, but moreso, I hope it buys them a little sanity. This is the holy grail of gift giving for new parents. That and diapers, I think. Maybe. :)
9) A local pregnancy/new mom resource center sent out a note letting people know that they are in serious need of some winter items for babies. A swaddle sleepsack is number one on my list of five new baby must-haves. (No blanket = lowers the risk of SIDS, nice and cozy, easy to swaddle a baby…. perfection.) I purchased five to donate to the center and I love knowing that they’ll keep babies warm, safe, and cozy at night.
I had the *BEST* time doing this. I made it clear to all of the recipients that it was not my own money I was spending, and yet the thank you notes/emails/texts they sent my way made me cry (see opening paragraph). I was really blessed knowing that a little gift made them smile. :)
Invisalign is giving you a chance to smile it forward.
They’re giving away $500 for one lucky winner and $500 for a friend. You can enter below!
How would you spend $500 for you/$500 for a friend?
Disclosure: As a member of the Invisalign Mom Advisory Board, I’m receiving complimentary treatment to facilitate my review. All content and opinions are my own. For the real deal buttoned-up disclosure, holla at this link right here..