The Power of a Smile

Smiles are contagious. The moment you see one, yours is nearly unstoppable. One smile has the power to change the course of a day and it turns out even the course of a lifetime. When Firelight started ten years ago, we committed to showing images of children how we knew they could be when they are well rooted in their community, supported, loved and happy. That meant a lot of smiling faces. Showing the smiles on children’s faces and the smiles throughout their community reminds us why we continue to invest in grassroots organizations that engage in local actions for local solutions. We saw smiles as one outcome of a powerful approach to change.

Smiling took on even more meaning with Ron Gutman’s recent TED talk The Hidden Power of Smiling. He uncovered that a smile can even predict longevity and well-being. Smiling decreases stress, reduces blood pressure and increases endorphins. He found that people who smile more live longer, are happier and healthier.

This smile montage comes directly from our grantee partners, from organizations that prioritize an entrepreneurial approach to solving social problems. They build community, care for children and bring smiles to many faces. Smiles that not only show how important community is, but will help children to lead long, healthy and happy lives.

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