June 7, 2021


Today, the first Friday in October, is World Smile Day. I don’t know about you, but everything about October makes me smile, so it won’t be hard to spend my day with a perma-grin. Today I’ll enjoy that crisp fall air, all things pumpkin, and the icing on top, an evening with seven of the most amazing women who have made me smile on the daily for years. But today isn’t about making myself smile, it’s about making another smile. So as I go about my day, I’ll look for ways to give others a reason to smile, even though I’ll never be able to see it behind the mask.

What’s the story behind World Smile Day?

As is well known by now throughout the world, Harvey Ball, a commercial artist from Worcester, Massachusetts created the smiley face in 1963. That image went on to become the most recognizable symbol of goodwill and good cheer on the planet. (Yeah, not sure what I’d do without my Smiley emojis!)

As the years passed, Harvey Ball became concerned about the over-commercialization of his symbol (I still think he’d like seeing those Smiley emojis everywhere), and how its original meaning and intent had become lost in the constant repetition of the marketplace.  Out of that concern came his idea for World Smile Day®. He thought that we, all of us, should devote one day each year to smiles and kind acts throughout the world.  The smiley face knows no politics, no geography, and no religion.  Harvey’s idea was that for at least one day each year, neither should we.  He declared that the first Friday in October each year would henceforth be World Smile Day®. Ever since that first World Smile Day® held in 1999, it has continued every year in Smiley’s hometown of Worcester, MA, and around the world (we may or may not be taking a pretty sweet road trip to check it out in 2021)!

After Harvey died in 2001, the Harvey Ball World Smile Foundation was created to honor his name and memory.  The Foundation continues as the official sponsor of World Smile Day® each year.

The World Smile Day website was created to provide information about World Smile Day®, Harvey Ball, and Smiley.  There’s a bunch of information you can find on the site about Smiley, the history of WSD, and even tools you can use (check out the WSD Certificate below) today as you make others smile.

How Will You Make Someone Smile Today?

Now that you know the history behind World Smile Day and the truly amazing Harvey Ball, what’s your plan to conquer World Smile Day? Will you pass out a few extra compliments you normally would have kept to yourself? How about making some of those fun Smiley cookies for a friend or neighbor? Will you write a note on a friend’s (or even better, a business) social media page? We’ve learned a lot since launching Do Gooder in April 2019. But one of the biggest lessons is that it really isn’t hard to make someone else smile. JUST. BE. KIND.

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In a world where you can be anything, be a giraffe.