About this project
SMILE 2 SMILE: SHARE THE HAPPINESS
“We shall never know all the good that a simple smile can do” -Mother Teresa
Smile 2 Smile is a social enterprise dedicated to sharing the joy and playfulness that is central to childhood. Through its ‘Share The Happiness’ program, Smile 2 Smile invites you to connect with a less fortunate child in a meaningful and uplifting way, creating an invisible bond that promotes happiness, sharing, friendship, compassion and global awareness.
With the sale of each limited-edition Buddy or Baby Buddy, we will gift another unique and colourful Smile 2 Smile Buddy on your behalf to a child in need. Smile 2 Smile is proud to offer an outstanding product your little ones will love and cherish, along with an uplifting opportunity to make a global connection and create social awareness.
In addition to brightening the day of a child in need, your pledge also actively supports mothers of the community of Hinche, Haiti. By setting up our first production studio in this rural town, we strive to empower local women by providing them with a fair and reliable income, a safe work environment and ongoing training to further their professional growth. This also benefits their families and the local communities.
Smile 2 Smile presently offers 2 different lines of beautiful, high-quality handcrafted products: the original Buddy and the Baby Buddy. The original Buddy is most attractive for children from 4 to 9 years old. The Baby Buddy is better suited for little ones under 4 years of age, as it has a soft, blanket-like "body" and safe embroidered features. They are made of Canadian-sourced fabrics, chosen for their bright, cheerful patterns and colours.
Buddy was the very first S2S product to be developed. Although its final design has been refined since the early days, the Buddy’s creation was instinctive and heart-felt. Children love Buddy’s unique features: very long arms for hugs (and to drag Buddy along or throw him around!), big floppy ears to listen to secrets, a round, huggable body and a fashionable bow. Buddy is made of colourful 100% cotton fabric and stuffed with 100% polyester. The eyes and nose are safely embroidered.
Smile 2 Smile’s Baby Buddy is specially adapted for babies. The Baby Buddy features a soft, blanket-like body which a baby can easily hold and cuddle up to. Its facial features are embroidered for increased safety. Baby Buddy embodies the same details children love about the original Buddy: long arms, an adorable face, big ears and a cute bow. The unique design, stimulating contrast in fabric texture and vivid colours make Baby Buddy an irresistible gift choice for newborns and toddlers alike. Baby Buddy is made of 100% cotton and 100% polyester fabrics and stuffed with 100% polyester.
Over the past two years, the Smile 2 Smile Ambassadors have met many incredible children, both in Haiti and at home in Canada. These children’s great energy, positive outlook and contagious happiness continue to inspire our mission each and every day, and it is a great honour to name the Buddies from our new collection after them!
Since 2014, Smile 2 Smile has distributed over 250 Buddies to children in hospitals and orphanages across Haiti, collaborating with established organizations such as Partners in Health and Maison L'Arc-En-Ciel. In each hospital and orphanage we visited, we spread happiness, love and friendship. From the AIDS orphans at MAEC to the sick children in the hot, overcrowded rooms of St-Marc's hospital, we saw big, bright smiles illuminate the faces of the little ones.
This is the experience we wish to bring back to you, so you may in turn share the stories with the children in your lives. Smile 2 Smile is proud to offer you an outstanding product, but also an uplifting opportunity for social awareness and global connection.
Every Smile 2 Smile Buddy has a story, and it all begins at our production studio in Central Haiti. Smile 2 Smile employs low-income mothers from the small rural town of Hinche, providing them with ongoing training, a safe work environment and fair wages. We are proud to offer these talented artisans the opportunity of full-time employment, as a dependable and regular income makes a tremendous impact on the lives of their families and their communities. Each limited-edition Buddy we produce through this Kickstarter campaign will be cut individually with precision and carefully stitched by our team of artisans, resulting in uncompromised quality and detail. From the first cut of the scissors to the moment it makes its way to the loving arms of children near and far, each Buddy tells a story of connection, compassion, dignity and happiness.
There are many way to Share The Happiness with Smile 2 Smile. If you love our mission and wish to contribute, become one of our Ambassadors by sharing our story and our campaign with your friends and family! Follow the sharing link at the top of this page (below our video) to let others know about Smile 2 Smile.
Is the Buddy/Baby Buddy safe for my child?
We craft all of our toys with the utmost care, using small stitches and strong thread. The ears, tail, arms and feet have all been triple-stitched for increased durability and safety. Each Buddy’s bow is firmly hand-stitched and its facial features are safely embroidered by our artisans. Adult supervision is recommended at all times.
How do I clean my child’s Buddy/Baby Buddy?
We recommend spot cleaning your Buddy with a mild detergent and a damp cloth, to preserve the beauty of its high quality fabrics. However, it can also be machine washed with care, if necessary. We recommend a delicate, cold water cycle and the use of a mild detergent. Place your Buddy in a light-coloured pillow case to wash. Do not machine dry.
Do you offer a quality warranty?
Smile 2 Smile strives to offer products of impeccable quality. However, should you encounter any quality issues with your beloved Buddy or Baby Buddy, please contact us at email@example.com and we will gladly arrange for its repair or replacement.
Can I get more information about the child to whom I gifted a Buddy?
Because Smile 2 Smile as well as the various health providers who assist us in gifting Buddies wish to protect the children’s privacy, we unfortunately cannot provide our customers with information about the children who receive the toys. When possible and appropriate, we try to capture all the joyful moments and beautiful smiles, and share them with you on our website, Facebook and Instagram pages.
Smile 2 Smile founder Melissa Calixte has special ties to Haiti, as part of her family is from a small town off the western coast of the island. More importantly, the people of Haiti have shown an indisputable spirit in the face of adversity, and we aim to honor that resiliency and positive attitude by making Haiti a central part of both our gifting program and production process. Our trips to Haiti in the past few years have taught us so much about the true meaning of community, support, happiness and dignity, and we are proud to work closely with Haitian families and communities to broaden and deepen our social impact.
When will the Buddies be gifted in Haiti?
Since initiating the Share The Happiness program, Smile 2 Smile has gifted to vulnerable children once annually, typically in the spring/summer. As we grow and have even more Buddies to gift, we will be working closely with various local health and community organizations to distribute toys year round. We will keep you updated on all our gifting events and partnerships.
Will you work with other countries internationally in the future?
We dream of sharing happiness with children all over the world, and Haiti is just our first stop. We intend to broaden our reach and share even more smiles and happiness around the globe!
Risks and challenges
With Smile 2 Smile’s new production being offshore, we run the risk of experiencing delays in production and shipping. Though some variables are out of our control (extreme weather, political complications, etc), we will do everything in our power to ensure that you receive your order on time. We have already scheduled a mid-production visit of the new facilities, which will help us uphold high quality standards and foresee any issues that may arise prior to your order being shipped out to you. All S2S Buddies will be checked by both our production manager and our founder for quality control before they reach your door.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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