Many of you know how the Infinite Smile Project started and why we developed our book series and programs to teach kids kindness, but many of you don’t. Some of you knew us before having the twins, after having them, during the wait for “Angel’s” heart surgery, once she was better and some of you – still don’t know us but came across ISP and fell in love with what it does and will continue to do in the world.
Our launch was behind about 50 days but it was well worth it. We met more people and fans of ISP, spent time with the Wounded Warriors in our military, and even helped several women in a shelter on the infamous Skid Row in downtown Los Angeles. We also spruced up the characters Dylan & Delany for their introduction to the world and even locked in an AMAZING waterfront location for their launch party thanks to generosity of one of my heroes.
In as few sentences as I can (and you all know that is hard for me to do) I want to return to how it all began, why we are launching the kickstarter for this book, and what we plan to do with it.
So here we go…….
For those of you that know “Angel”, there is no one on this planet like her. So to think the world could have existed without her is just incredibly sad. To give you an understanding of her personality here is a glimpse of her at a mere 20 months.
Once her sweet little heart had to be fixed one year after this video we witnessed all sides of our child to their extreme. Pain & suffering, fear, tenderness and relief when we held her in the hospital, determination to walk again through her pain, sadness missing her sister, and her sweetness when she muttered, “Thank you”, through her tears to the nurses after she had just screamed in pain from tubes and needles being administered day after day.
On the flip side however we felt incredibly grateful and lucky. I was told by many that the pediatric ICU is not where anyone wants to be – and they were so right. We were lucky to be discharged as we watched many kids leave this Earth that week and witnessed parents and families going through unspeakable pain. I always wonder about them.
Fast forward 8 months later with a healthy family and we wanted the twins to understand what it was like to be kind to others, put a smiles on their faces, and to have gratitude for how lucky we are. It was the only way we knew how to return the favor to the universe for all the warmth, love and support we received during that time. It took us so long to even have children – to come out of this process and end the year with a two healthy kids provided so much happiness and perspective on many things in life. We were indebted to so many I felt. This was the best way to repay these intangible gifts that meant so much – to give others the same joy, hope, love and happiness we felt from all the visits, calls, gifts, meals and love we received for months.
What I didn’t expect was for two 3 year olds to really feel and understand how kindness felt in their soul. To see them change throughout the day and become happier, more self-assured, and filled with so much self-love in lieu of how others responded to their gestures. After one day they could feel how serving others made them happier and more self-assured. They actually understood how acts of kindness and service gave so much more back to them than it did to those receiving these gifts. The first day we spent doing this it was my 39th birthday. The best gift I received was witnessing and realizing what was happening right before my eyes in my 3-year old children.
In this past year we have visited hospitals, animal shelters, sent care packages to Marines, donated schools supplies for kids that need them, handed wands and acts of kindness around town, aided nursing homes, and even donated all of our birthday gifts for kids that lack toys. Here are a few examples of our year in review:
Donating treats for the animal shelter
Leaving toys in the park for kids to find in the sand on a winter day
A poster with our hashtag at our Frozen 4th Birthday party (made by cousin Kelsey) for a photo booth for kids donating their toys and making craft boxes for sick kids
Unloading and delivering over 50 backpacks stuffed with school supplies for children of families in difficult times donated by local children
Packaged produce to provide healthy foods for the hungry
We have even gathered up adults and have gone to Children’s Hospital (where her surgery took place) to feed home cooked meals to families staying there with their children on the Oncology floor, conducted beach clean-ups, and gave items to those that need things we take for granted to the homeless themselves in this notorious area of Los Angeles, Skid Row.
All of these things that filled our hearts with so much joy knowing we were helping others or just bringing a smile to their faces without asking for anything in return. The results were indescribable. We knew we needed to develop a program for kids starting at age 3 they could understand and get excited about.
Enter Dylan & Delany’s World of Kindness
This is not just a quest to do a kids book for fun – it is so much more. Dylan, Delany, and the other characters in this book were created, developed and written with the sole purpose of implementing a method to teach children as young as three what acts of kindness, philanthropic work, compassion, and deeds greater than themselves can do to enhance all our lives for the better. We are seeking to change the mindset of our youth at a fundamental level to create confidence, compassion, charity and sustainable happiness for our next generation. Kids will fall in love with these characters, see the good they are doing and want to emulate that.
How do I know? Because after working with focus groups of kids ages 3-12 this past year they helped us develop them and incorporated kind acts into their every day life on a consistent bases and it has changed them for the better. Just in 9 months we have seen these changes in kids as young as 3. This is why we are so passionate about it – because it works.
During the start of this holiday season, please help us kick it off right. If you do anything in the next 6 weeks while in the holiday spirit, help us spread the word about the Infinite Smile Project, what we are trying to do in schools, in the community, and for our children to change people’s mindset to “we” instead of “me”. Please send this kickstarter link to everyone you know, ask them to send it to everyone they know and donate even just $5. Show them the press ISP has received in a mere 7 months and let them know we are already making great strides. Even if they don’t want to donate have them follow our pages or sign up for our blog to help spread these ideals for themselves, their kids or grandchildren. This can make a huge impact by word of mouth alone as we saw with the ” Ice Bucket Challenge” (as discussed in a previous post).
Proceeds from this book once printed will go directly back to the Infinite Smile Project, our programs in schools, for kids, birthday campaigns and other charitable acts for kids and adults.
Each day we will be giving away prizes to anyone that donates at any level to help raise funds for ISP. Over 25 companies have graciously given us products and services for free because they believe in us and we are looking forward to giving them out. We will post which gift is up for grabs each day on our social media outlets. We will also be posting kindness stories, ideas and organizations that inspire others to change the world – we want to highlight them during this holiday season. Please include these links to your friends and family as well. Please repost on your social media handles and help us any way you can. Once this is funded, we won’t let you down – and if you know us, you know we won’t.
Thank you for all your support, encouraging words, and your love for ISP and this book.
To donate or learn more about Dylan & Delany, please visit our kickstarter link (click here) and see what we’ve put together for you!
Wish us luck!