World Smile Day was created by Harvey Ball to encourage the world for just one day a year to participate in acts of kindness by making others smile.
Harvey Ball, a commercial artist, was the man that created the smiley face, the most recognized symbol of good will and cheer on the planet, in 1963. Strangely it was the over popularity of the smiley face that caused Harvey Ball to become concerned that the meaning of the smiley face was being used in a negative fashion. Because of his worries Ball decided to dedicate one day each year to promoting smiles and acts of kindness creating World Smile Day.
World Smile Day – 1st Friday of October
Harvey Ball chose the first Friday in October to celebrate World Smile Day. The first World Smile Day was held in Worcester, Massachusetts in 1999. Worcester was Harvey Ball’s hometown. World Smile Day’s slogan “Do an act of kindness. Help one person smile!” is one of the best sayings anyone could chose to live by. Its simplicity speaks volumes. Harvey Ball believed that “the smiley face knows no politics, no geography and no religion . . . for at least one day each year, neither should we.” Simply smiling will make the world a better place. The twelfth annual World Smile Day will be held on October 1,2010.
Founding the World Smile Foundation
In 2001, when Harvey Ball passed away, the World Smile Foundation was created. The Foundation was created to “honor the name and memory of Harvey Ball.” Each year on the first Friday of October the Foundation still hosts World Smile Day events in Worcester, Massachusetts. The World Smile Foundation’s slogan is “Improving this world, one smile at a time” truly encompasses Harvey Ball’s vision when he created World Smile Day.
How to Celebrate World Smile Day
This has to be one of the easiest holidays to celebrate and anyone can participate. Some individuals chose to organize events, hand out fliers or smiley face stickers while other chose to promote World Smile Day by simply smiling.
The Harvey Ball Smile Award
Harvey Ball influenced many people with his World Smile Day. In honor of the person he was the Worcester Historical Museum created the Harvey Ball Smile Award. The award recognizes “an individual, group, or organization who has done something rather fantastic for the city of Worcester.” The first winner of the award in 2001 was Allen Fletcher.
Events take place all over the world. To participate all anyone has to do is smile.