As many of you know by now (here’s a refresher or intro if not), in April of 2020, shortly after the Pandemic hit I created a graduation lawn sign initiative. At the time my youngest daughter was all set to graduate from High School that June with so many incredibe milestones to look forward to and a lifetime of memories to create over the coming months. Her graduation trip to Punta Cana which was scheduled to leave that infamous weekend in mid March when the world came to a crashing halt got cancelled, her prom dress was left hanging in the store we had purchased it from several months earlier; never to be worn and her graduation ceremony was postponed indefinitely (it did eventually take place near the end of November online in that same year; no cap and gown required). To say she was devastated would be an understatement. But she was not alone.
I decided that she, along with millions of other children from pre-school to post-graduate education deserved to still be celebrated somehow so my creative juices quickly kicked into high gear and I designed a series of lawn signs with the help of my children’s book illustrator for parents, teachers and loved ones to proudly display on their front lawns honouring their soon to be graduate(s).
I never in my wildest dreams could’ve ever imagined the kind of impact my little idea would soon make, even gaining national attention on nightly news and current affairs programming. But still I couldn’t help but wonder how else I could help our many young people (graduates or not) who were and continue to be the ones who have suffered the most since the start of the Pandemic and so I decided to donate a portion of the proceeds to youth mental health initiatives in Canada with “Kids Help Phone” being my main focal point as I felt it was beyond overwhelmed, especially in that first year.
Last spring I had another graduate in my home, this time it was my middle daughter graduating from University. We were still in the throes of a Pandemic and she too was feeling a sense of loss so I decided to revisit the graduation lawn sign initiative again. I asked my illustrator to make the necessary tweaks to the designs by changing a few things, including the year from 2020 to 2021 and before I knew it my campaign was up and running again in no time.
By the end of year two’s Pandemic graduation season I had sold and hand delivered (with the incredible help and navigational skills of my loving, yet sometimes impatient hubby) over 1000 signs to communities all across the Greater Toronto Area and beyond, raising over 15k for youth mental health while I was at it. It sparked alot of joy in my heart, I mean ALOT of joy (see my blog posted yesterday @ https://youareenough712.wordpress.com/2022/04/12/what-sparks-joy-in-your-life/).
I’ve had several people reach out to me privately to ask if I am planning to run another graduation lawn sign initiative again this year. I’ve been thinking about it long and hard for several months now knowing how purposeful it made me feel and how many sparks of joy it ignited in so many others but since launching my new venture a few weeks ago I have decided instead to put all my efforts there by adding “a gentle reminder…” lawn sign division to my @agentlereminderproject apparel line.
I am beyond grateful right now as to how well received my new line of hoodies, onesies and t’s have become by so many people in the community and beyond (the first out of Province purchase is set to arrive in Montreal in a couple of days from now!) and I am truly blessed to have several youth mental health programs wishing to partner with me and allow me to focus on an even broader audience while continuing my efforts to advocate and raise both money and awareness for mental health.
These signs, much like the apparel are a labour of love, designed and handcrafted completely by me.
My goal here is to help spread as much hope and kindness and love as we can throughout each and every community through words.
“No matter what people tell you, words and ideas can change the world. ” ~Robin Williams~
Our choice of words and the language we use, matter. Words lead to more positive and honest conversations. Words hold so much power and we should never devalue the impact they truly have on all of us. You just never know who may be listening or even reading them with their own eyes as they walk past a sign on someone’s front lawn or while standing in line at Starbucks and see words imprinted on someone else’s hoodie; words they’ve longed to hear, validating their feelings. You just never know who may be desperately searching for a reason to smile today.
A gentle reminder…words do matter.
Signs available: (the colours I have chosen to use for each and every lawn sign were purposelessly chosen representing suicide awareness)
A gentle reminder…Kindness is free.
A gentle reminder…you are enough.
A gentle reminder…you are stronger than you think.
A gentle reminder…it’s okay to be yourself.
A gentle reminder…the world needs you.
A gentle reminder…you are not alone.
A gentle reminder…you’ve got this.
A gentle reminder…you matter.
A gentle reminder…be the reason someone smiles today.
If you would like to purchase a sign or hoodie for yourself or someone else please DM or email us at: email@example.com.
Check out our Instagram page @agentlereminderproject
*a portion of proceeds will be donated to youth mental health
Thank you for continuing to share my journey with me.
#agentlereminder #lawnsigns #hoodies #wordsmatter #yourmentalhealthmatters #youthmentalhealth #advocate #blogger #childrensbookauthor #kindnessmatters #mentalhealth #mentalwellness #suicideawareness #bethereasonsomeonesmilestoday