Make DC Smile, a guerrilla group of goodness, has taken over the nation’s capital one heartwarming gesture at a time.
Their recent project, a chalk mural that asks “What Makes You Smile?,” allows residents to take a moment and remember the things that make them happy.
While the portable poster currently doesn’t have a permanent home, it made an appearance at a local Help Portrait event.
“We were working on it in front of the house when someone got out of a cab and starting asking questions. They invited us to a one day event,” Massoud Adibpour, founder of Make DC Smile, told The Huffington Post.
During the event, adults and kids alike wrote about the things that made them smile. Family was definitely a prominent theme - one little girl wrote “Mom” and drew a heart next to it - but some other sources of happiness included coffee, acting, and Internet cat videos.
The public display list was in part inspired by another, smaller project by Make DC Smile: the “Take What You Need” tear-away posts.
Rather than phone numbers offered by traditional tear-away posts, Make DC Smile created a heartwarming version in which strangers took away written messages like love, hope, or strength.
The group also makes a point to post cheerful signs around DC and on the Internet. “It’s something really simple. Anyone can do this, just write something nice down on a piece of paper, but the impact is so much bigger, especially when it’s someone you don’t know putting up the signs,” Massoud said.
And if that wasn’t enough, Make DC Smile participants also hold cheerful signs for the city’s Monday morning commuters.
According to Massoud, sometimes a sign that reads, ‘Don’t be so hard on yourself,’ ‘Honk if you love someone,’ or ‘Today is awesome’ can really make a difference. “I see too many blank stares everyday when I’m walking down the street,” he said, “so a stranger who greets me with a smile would make my day!”