smiley face in 1963. As this symbol became more popular and commercialized, he grew concerned that its original meaning of good will and good cheer had become lost. That gave him the idea to make the first Friday of every October World Smile Day.
World Smile Day was first held in Harvey’s hometown of Worcester, Massachusetts in 1999. That year the U.S. Post Office released a smiley face postage stamp. You can watch this 6-minute video to hear from Harvey Ball and see the stamp being unveiled. The theme of World Smile Day that year, and every year, is for people to do an act of kindness and help one person smile.
After Harvey died in 2001, the Harvey Ball World Smile Foundation was founded to honor his name and memory and to ensure World Smile Day continues. Every year, the Foundation sponsors activities in Worcester, MA while also encouraging people and organizations worldwide to join in. If you want to support the Harvey Ball World Smile Foundation in this work, consider a sponsorship.
If you’re looking for a way to celebrate World Smile Day you have lots of options. Join an event, organize your own, or download and print out a poster, a sticker or pages to color. Do an act of kindness (random or not) and talk about it on social media using the hashtag #WorldSmileDay. You can also like Foundation’s Facebook page and check out their YouTube videos to help spread the word. 🙂