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One Girl’s FB “Smiles”

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One Girl’s FB “Smiles”

Innovative Social Networking for the 20th Century has connected me with long-lost relatives, old classmates, and new friends with similar interests. In addition to being a great way to keep in touch with loved ones, both Facebook and Twitter have been better than that yearly “newsy” Christmas letter.

When I need to find the good in this world, my faith is restored in mankind by one special, little girl’s FB “Smiles.” At only ten years old, Emily’s humanitarian efforts from Fort Worth, Texas, are a sweet reminder of what it means to care selflessly about others.

While her mother was pregnant with her younger sibling, the doctors determined he had suffered a stroke in the womb. I can’t imagine how worried Emily must have been when she learned such scary news. Alarmingly, one in every 4000 births will result in an in utero stroke. Childhood strokes are one of the top ten killers in children.

After a miraculous birth, baby brother Jude continues to require extensive medical attention. At only two years of age, Jude is legally blind, has a severe seizure disorder, as well as cerebral palsy.

In tow with mom, dad, and baby for many office visits and hospital stays, Emily had the impressive initiative to turn the “not-again” boring experiences into a creative inspiration that would help many other kids.

Emily had the idea of filling flat cheery boxes with crayons and an assortment of fun activities to bring smiles to hospitalized sick children as well as their siblings. Included with each box is a cuddly stuffed bear to love. Just a dream from a ten-year-old’s precious heart has turned into a successful non-profit charity called Emily’s Smile Boxes that continues to grow strong over two years later.

To date Emily has given out a little over 2,000 boxes from primarily her local community’s support. Boxes have been shipped to every state in the U.S. and into Canada. Someday, she is hoping to extend her generous spirit of giving nationwide.

If this ambitious girl wasn’t accomplishing enough—she is a straight A student, playing the lead in her school play and is a link leader. Emily still makes her boxes at home and is presently selling silicon bracelets at her school to raise money to pay for them. Her school also wants to host the next box-making party. Last May, Emily had the opportunity to travel to Washington, DC, and speak with Condoleeza Rice, along with both her Texas senators about her charity.

Emily has clearly made her mark in this world and is a wonderful example of how our youth today are making a difference in others’ lives. She is a big sister who is honoring her brother’s life in an admirable way.

At her last box-making party, she had over 100 volunteers from 17 months old to the elderly helping with the packing of the boxes for shipment.

Emily is a young girl that has shown us where we can find the positive through even the difficult trials. Let celebrate the good in this world by spreading Emily’s contagious “Smiles.” Emily’s Smile Boxes FB page is and her Twitter account is .Also Jude’s blog is

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  • Jenny Valdes says:

    Love this story. Thanks for writing and sharing. I will spread the word about Emily and her mission 🙂

  • What an encouraging story and an amazing girl. Thanks for sharing!

  • Julie L. says:

    What a wonderful thing that little girl is doing. She is definately an inspiration. Thank you for telling her story. Best wishes to her and her family.

  • Thanks for sharing the inspiring story, JoAnne. What a special girl Emily is! She is definitely making a difference in the world and making life better for many children.

  • Michelle Lara says:

    Light will always shine through darkness. How beautiful the heart of this girl is. May God bless her. I will keep this boy and the rest of their family in my prayers. She has encouraged me to keep pressing through the trials of life. Thanks for sharing!

  • Jennifer says:

    thank you for sharing my Emily’s story 😉

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  1. So sad, what a terrible experience. and I know it was only one of many for you. Love you friend!!!
  2. This fills me with sadness: “No child should have to continually try to make a parent love them.” What a tragedy that your mother was not able to accept love from you. My guess is that deep down, she didn’t feel lovable, and she had to cover that shameful fact up with a bunch of br…
  3. It’s insane that these findings were made but nothing was done about it. All these years later, you are still waiting for the wrongs to be righted.
  4. I love you❤
  5. I hope you are able to find more on the first chapters of your life. How twisty things became when people had to hide things…ugh. Sad.