Stories of Kindness from Around the World

The Journey of a Spanish Smile Card

--by bwawili, posted Jul 20, 2010

At 2:00am this past Friday morning, I received a text message from a friend, asking if I had any Smile Cards in Spanish. I immediately replied back saying I didn’t have any smile cards in Spanish. However, I also asked her why she wanted them specifically in Spanish and if smile cards in English would be acceptable.

To my surprise, she said she had been one of the few selected by her high-school to go on a service trip to Nicaragua. She was going to spend four weeks in the villages teaching English to children & teens between the ages of five and eighteen. She wanted to share the concept of Smile Cards and kindness. By now, I was totally rocked and excited with hearing the news! :)

So I decided to stop texting and call her to get more information about her service trip and ask when she was leaving for Nicaragua. She said, she was leaving that same day at midnight, meaning 12:00am on Saturday. I told her I would inquire about it and let her know by afternoon if I can get hold of any in Spanish. No luck till midday.

Then I had one of those “AHA” moments. I remembered that on there were translations of the original English Smile Card in various different languages. Lo and behold, there was one in Spanish. YAY! Carrying the excitement, I headed over to a local printing shop and asked the employee if he could print 100 Smile Cards in Spanish by 6:00pm. The employee said it was impossible to get it same day since he was working by himself and was swamped with orders. Bummed, I took out the English version of the Smile Card and explained my situation to him. By now, even he was excited and promised that he'd try his level best to get them printed.

The falling snowball began to gain momentum! I called back my friend to tell her the arrangements had been made. She was ecstatic over the phone.

6 o’clock rolled around that evening and I called to check-in with the printing shop if the cards were ready. They weren't. It’ll take another hour or two. Not the response I was hoping for, but I’ll take it. Even if he was able to get them printed, I hoped I could get the cards to my friend before she left to go to the airport. The countdown began. One hour comes and goes and the cards still aren’t ready. By now, I’m just hanging out in the print shop so when the cards are ready, I can go directly to my friend’s house to cut out the time wastage from my house to the print shop.

The clock strikes 9:00 pm. The Spanish Smile Cards were ready! To express my gratitude, I brought some Indian food from home to share with this print shop employee to thank him for his commitment. He was all smiles. I quickly got into my car and sped off to my friend’s house, who was patiently standing outside awaiting my arrival. I arrived just before she left for the airport! Success! We didn’t get a chance to have a proper conversation, but she promised she’ll share some stories when she comes back. That was good enough. We gave hugs and went our separate ways.

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Readers Comments

cinnamonhead wrote: Well you certainly went above and beyond! So glad it worked out, i'm sure your friend will come back with some great stories.
sabriina wrote: Oh wow, i speak spanish and it would be amazing to have cards like that. Then i could take the happiness over to argentina too!
nina wrote: What are smile cards? I ha ve been reading an amazing book "love as a way of life" and it is about loving authentically! One of the main ways is acts of kindness! What are smile cards! We have alot of spanish speaking people in our small town and all i can offer sometimes is a smile! Please share what a smile card is! Can i purchase them?
sonrisa wrote: Nina, you can read all about what smile cards are here:
Http://www. Helpothers. Org/cards. Php
And download the spanish design to print-off and spread kindness here:
Http://www. Helpothers. Org/index. Php? Pg=download

Enjoy! :)
Charlie wrote: What a wonderful story; can't wait for the follow on from the trip to nicaragua.

I bet there's a good chance the print shop employee will eventually join us in distributing smile cards
Sydney wrote: I agree with sonrisa - so much kindess on many levels! A truly fantastic story!

Do you know how the smile cards were used by your friend? Thank you for sharing this story.
La Gata wrote: Yay! Talk about déjà-vú! I did basically the same a while back, since i ordered the regular (english) smile cards.

Where i live, my 12-year-old daughter and i found that most people couldn't really grasp the significance of the cards in english, so i ended up having 50 (to start off) printed up in spanish. Lol, to-date, i've even had a couple deposited in my grocery cart, when i've gone shopping! :-)

For the past couple of years now, spanish smile cards have been "circulating" in gran canaria (and who knows where else? ) . I think that it's great news!

"smiles" and good wishes to all!
Namaste wrote: Great job! Loved it that you shared indian food with the print shop employee!
trueblue07 wrote: Wow! What an amazing story! Just think that the smile cards are now getting passed around in Nicaragua! Great story!
AURELIA wrote: Wow!!! this is a great story. Glad you didn't give up... Those cards will be putting smiles on faces in Nicaragua!! that's amazing, isn't it?!

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