Smile and the world smiles with you – Zekra’s Story

My name is Zekra and I live by the motto ‘smile and the world smiles with you’. When you are happy it’s contagious enough to make people around you feel the same and I honestly believe the best gift you can give anyone is a smile.

Life is very busy for me between training and work but I realised that it doesn’t always have to be days and weeks to make a difference. One hour can be enough!

I found out about #popupharrow and the volunteering opportunities they have to make small contributions. The best thing of all…my first opportunity gave me the chance to be face to face with people and see the faces turn into smiles!

I joined Harrow Happiness Campaign whose mission is to simply spread happiness and smiles in Harrow. All it required was for me to show up for one hour with a smile on my face. I met some of the other volunteers and I was provided with a giant foam hand. All I did was high five people, smile, talk and get as many faces smiling back as possible. That small difference gave me a buzz I didn’t think I would get! The smiles from people and the high fives made me feel like I was on top of the world. It’s so contagious and addictive.

I also dared to take it a step further and do free hugs!! For me the hug is giving people the chance to express their affection to a fellow human and about trusting in each other. Hugging a stranger means not being afraid to show love, just as easy it is to just walk by without greeting or smiling. Our community needs to represent love and happiness and I cannot tell you how proud I am of taking part of that. It wasn’t at all awkward and people were so friendly (everyone likes free stuff!).

I was so happy every time parents would encourage their kids to come forward and hug and high five us and that just shows how we want our kids to not be afraid to express love!

These small acts of kindness isn’t what people think of when they hear the word volunteering but I can’t even express the happiness and sense of involvement it gives me. For me this was an easy start to get more involved.

I would ask anyone that believes they don’t have the time to just give it an hour to see how the experience will move and open doors to happiness that you didn’t expect. It will make you understand how “We rise by lifting others” and that Small changes are still a change!

Remember to keep smiling!