Today, I am so honored to announce Candie Pie Nation’s first annual 26 Days of Spreading Joy Campaign. From December 29-January 23, I’m asking all Candie Pie Nation followers and supporters to engage in daily acts of kindness, no matter how small or big. You can learn more below about the history of this special time period and ways to participate below.
History of 26 Days of Spreading Joy
December 29-January 23 represents the 26-day time period our sweet Candice was in the hospital. As many of you know, she was born with a HLHS (Hypoplastic Left Heart Syndrome) a severe congenital heart condition in which the left side of her heart was underdeveloped. On December 29, 2015 Candice went in for her third open-heart surgery. Though we were hopeful this would be her last open-heart surgery for many years to come, the complications she suffered as a result of the surgery and other conditions she was born with proved too much for her little body to handle. We had to say goodbye on January 23, 2016.
Though those 26 days were the hardest of my life, they also opened my eyes to all of the love and joy that this world has to offer. We received so much support—and oftentimes from people we’d never even met—and all of it helped me to find joy in a terrible time.
Family, friends, the staff at Sunrise Children’s Hospital and strangers showed us endless love and support. My family took care of Candice’s big sister, which was a huge help while I was living in the hospital. Local heart moms started a meal train, and people all over the country were sending me lunch and dinner (sometimes enough to feed the nurses as well). Cards and care packages arrived at the hospital daily—some from people we never met. The Candie Pie Nation support page was always full of messages of love. Doctors, nurses and hospital administration all went above and beyond their job to help me through this time.
The goal of Candie Pie Nation’s 26 Days of Spreading Joy Campaign is simply to honor Candice’s life by performing one small act of kindness every single day from December 29-January 23—just as so many people did for me while Candice was in the hospital.
How to Participate
To participate, simply print the 26 Days of Spreading Joy cards below and, each time you perform an act of kindness, pass a card along to the recipient of that act so that he or she may continue the spreading joy train.
Post about your acts of kindness on Instagram, Twitter or Facebook using #26daysofspreadingjoy and #candiepienation. Be sure to also follow @CandiePieNation and tag us in your photos so that we can share your acts of kindness with the entire Candie Pie Nation community.
Ideas for Participation
Below are some examples of ways to Spread Joy, but feel free to come up with your own:
- Donate books to the children’s hospital or doctor’s office.
- Donate toys to the children’s hospital.
- Leave change taped to a vending machine at the hospital (with a 26 Days of Spreading Joy card taped up as well)
- Donate Blood
- Donate Plasma
- Sign up to be an organ donor. You can’t take them with you.
- Have your children draw pictures and give them to a local hospice or nursing home.
- Volunteer at the local Ronald McDonald House.
- Donate coloring books and crayons to the children’s hospital.
- Bake cookies for first responders.
- Make cards for families in the hospital and offer them words of encouragement.
- Donate soft tissues to the ICU. Hospital tissues are like sandpaper.
- Make dinner or order a pizza for a family who is going through a rough time.
- Let someone go ahead of you in line.
- Pay for coffee for the person behind you in line at Starbuck’s. (Be sure to hand the cashier a 26 Days of Spreading Joy card to give to this person)
- Pay for someone’s movie ticket, gas, food, etc.
- Give out hugs.
- Leave a popcorn treat at a movie rental box.
- Buy a sweet treat at a coffee shop and tell the cashier to give it to someone who looks like they are having a bad day.
- Just smile and say hello. You can brighten someone’s day.