What Sparked Spark a Smile?

I’ve been making my own cards for special occasions since 2004, but in the summer of 2009, I brought my supplies to my aunt’s house to introduce my cousin to card-making. She loved it, and with my aunt’s help, we made 40 cards in a weekend. The next time I brought my supplies to my aunt’s house, my grandmother [see yesterday’s post!] came along. Skeptical of her own crafting skills at first, and with failing eyesight, at 79 years old, my grandma made her very first handmade card, a birthday card for her friend. I was so happy to see her so excited and so proud of her creation!
During this time, I’d also started to follow Jennifer McGuire’s blog, and read about her card drive called Cards for Kids. I was especially interested to read about the latest Kid she was collecting cards for, a girl named Kate McRae. Jennifer is from Ohio, and she was sending cards to Kate, in Chandler, Arizona (Chandler is just 30 minutes north of where we are in Casa Grande). Some of my friends on facebook even know Kate! What a small world.

At the end of September, I noticed a link on the City of Casa Grande’s website about Casa Grande Cares, a program started by the City to encourage local businesses to get involved in the community, and it all clicked. How fun would it be to sponsor a greeting card drive to donate cards to local charities? My family and I had a great time creating cards together, sitting around the table, chatting, and laughing. A crafter in Ohio inspired smiles across the country, so wouldn’t it be great to inspire smiles in our own city? We could all use a little smile once in a while. So, with the help of my friends (especially Marlene, Mandie, Amanda, Paula, and Maria), we launched Spark a Smile in October, 2009. It’s been a great year!