• Gianna

#35 "The UNREAL impact of LITTLE things"

It is so easy to get caught up in our own lives. It’s easy to forget how much our interactions throughout the day can affect others. Think about a time someone went out of their way to be kind to you, especially on a bad day…. I bet it didn’t take you long to think of someone, and that proves my point. Little interactions with each other are so important to our well-being.

Before my interview with the executive director of The Letter Project, Paige Thompson, I knew she would talk about the importance of these little things – I mean, check out what they do at the Letter Project! The Letter Project However, the word important is not strong enough for what Paige shared. A better way to describe it would be... the impact of the little things is UNREAL!

As a high schooler, Paige grew up in a small town in rural South Dakota. She worked hard in school and played basketball with dreams to play in college. However, at a Division I camp the summer before her senior year, Paige tore every ligament in her knee, wrecking her future plans. Paige had to do something different, so she said yes to every club in her high school- every club she previously didn't have time to join because of her time commitment with sports. She made friends with many new crowds and revolutionized who she was.

Skip ahead a few years and Paige is a school social worker working with children of all ages - preschool to senior year. After having a conversation with a student who shared how sad he felt that summer was coming because of his home situation, Paige decided to build a summer camp called Camp Inspire for students. She was shocked that some of her students were not excited for summer since hers only brought her happy memories. So, Paige went out of her way to create a camp where kids could escape from the challenging situations they were facing in their homes. One of the campers expressed it best when he said, “Ms. Paige, this was the best week of my life!”

The funny thing is, I did not reach out to Paige because of Camp Inspire.  I reached out to her because of her work as executive director with The Letter Project. The Letter Project involves girls writing handwritten letters to other girls who need a little bit of extra encouragement. A group of over 3500 women across six continents help one another remain strong through hard situations. A letter is the little thing that ends up being everything to someone who needs it. Again, the impact may be best stated from a recipient who exclaimed, “You just do not know how much seeing and reading those letters means to me right now!”

We can learn from Paige’s example and remind ourselves that no act of kindness no matter how small goes to waste. The young child at the summer camp and that 15-year-old girl from The Letter Project will forever be impacted by Paige’s little things. Imagine how that neighbor, or teacher, or coworker, or locker neighbor or cashier will be impacted by your act. Do not forget- caring about others will never go out of style so go do a little thing and have an UNREAL impact on someone today!

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