During the summer before my freshman year, my friend Gavin Roth and I wanted to put our passion for helping people and our determination to make a difference in the world into action. After learning about activities children could do in the hospital, we knew we wanted to create something that allowed the patients to express their creative abilities. Ultimately, we created Bottles of Smiles, a non-profit organization with the goal to put a smile on hospital patients’ faces.
Bottles of Smiles delivers bottles filled with numerous items that will cheer up a child. Each bottle is filled with activity sheets, crayons, toys and a bracelet with our slogan, “Smile, happy looks good on you” written on it. The bottle also includes stickers and a handwritten letter from a student telling the patient about himself or herself. We co-founded Bottles of Smiles a year ago, and since then, volunteers have created and delivered over 3,500 bottles.
After a year, we partnered with B’Nai Brith Youth Organization (BBYO), a movement that involves Jewish teens in meaningful experiences. The supplies to create the bottles are available on the BBYO website, so chapters all across the world are able to assemble the bottles. As a result of Bottles of Smiles being on the BBYO website, Bottles of Smiles is now available to students all over the United States and 30 more countries around the world. Looking back on the many lives Gavin and I have impacted makes me so proud. Even though our mission is to put smiles on as many children’s faces as possible, we also wanted to show our community that anyone can make a difference.
Gavin and I are now in our junior year. Bottles of Smiles is growing, similar to how Gavin and I are growing as people. After each Bottles of Smiles program, we learn about how we can strengthen the organization so we can put smiles on even more children’s faces. Visit our website at www.bottlesofsmiles.org to learn about how you can get involved.
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