Good Neighbors

Students Surprise People In Their Community With "Smile Boxes"

You have to see how people reacted to their sweet act of kindness.


Students at Our Lady of Mercy Academy in Washington Township, NJ got an important lesson in kindness this week.

They've been working for weeks to create handmade “Smile Boxes," or “Sunshine Boxes," with different items inside like toiletries, socks, books and snacks. The all-girl group also included positive messages in each box, like “Stay Strong" and “Anything Is Possible."

After the students made the boxes, they passed them out to churchgoers in their community. They also visited assisted living facilities and surprised shoppers with boxes at the local Goodwill Store and Bottino's ShopRite. The students planned the whole day, from renting a bus, making a schedule and determining which places to stop.

The school shared photos to Facebook of the students giving away the Smile Boxes, and another card in the box encouraged recipients to share photos of their boxes to social media with the hashtag #OLMACares.

“This group of girls, they understand about giving and not needing something in return," Brook Coyle, head of the school, told ABC-6 . “They have very, very big hearts and are full of compassion about what they do."

Making the “Smile Boxes" is just one of the projects the students will do as part of the school's Compassion Quest, a course in the Our Lady of Mercy Academy's Mini-Mester service project initiative. Other Compassion Quest projects include making blankets for the community's veterans and participating in walks for charities.

“It's really important in our OLMA community and our sisterhood, because our faith is a lot about giving back to our community and giving to others around us," one of the students shared.

Judging by the smiles and hugs the girls received as they passed out the boxes, they definitely have the 'caring about others' part of their mission in the bag – or, box.

Our Lady of Mercy Academy Facebook

Inspired by the OLMA students' incredible act of kindness? Why not take their lead and create your own Sunshine Boxes for members of your community? If you need more inspiration, you can check out a recent Sparkt story where our staff passed out handmade goodie bags to strangers in downtown Pittsburgh. Let's #StartSomethingGood together.

(Source: images Our Lady of Mercy Academy Facebook )

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