Belfast Telegraph

Friday 24 October 2014

#Smilebomb: The latest social media campaign to make a stranger's day better

The Free Help Guy says a smilebomb is ‘a public message left by one stranger for another with the intention of making them smile’
The Free Help Guy says a smilebomb is ‘a public message left by one stranger for another with the intention of making them smile’
Via @wuvlyViv
Via @wuvlyViv

An anonymous man known only as 'The Free Help Guy' has begun a new campaign to make everyone’s life that little bit better, with the introduction of the ‘Smilebomb', writes Felicity Morse.

During a six-month career gap the man in his 20s began doing good for goodness's sake.

Via @wuvlyViv
Via @wuvlyViv

After posting an advert on Gumtree offering incognito assistance to anyone who wanted it, he was inundated with requests. He also realised his desire to help was far from unique and has established a small community of givers: the FreeHelpPeople.

Their latest campaign is to spread happiness through anonymous notes. On the FreeHelp blog he explains that a smilebomb is ‘a public message  left by one stranger for another with the intention of making them smile’

He told the Independent: "If you're struggling for what message to write then hark back to those who inspire best. Poets, song writers philosophers. “Let it be” for example, to me, is as profound as is gets. "

He continues: “What we are going to do is spread some positive energy and optimism in our local areas by writing an uplifting little note anywhere we see fit. Whether it’s a catchy quote in the condensation on a window or a positive post-it on the train; we hope to perk up a stranger’s day! Our aim is to make someone smile for a few seconds and in turn maybe they will pass this positivity on!”

Smilebombers are then encouraged to post their little act of joy onto Facebook or twitter with the hashtag #smilebombs to inspire other potential do-gooders.

November’s campaign is a little different from last month's, which actually helped 710 blind people see.

Teaming up with the Sightsavers charity and Josie Easton, an artist who “paints” with her fingerprints, he asked people to make a £10 pledge to help buy an eye operation in the developing world. The £10 also bought one of the 2,000 fingerprints needed to make a close-up image of an eye. Altogether they raised £7,102 and helped pay for an operation for 710 people. The painting will now be auctioned to add to the fund.

The Free Help guy said that something even bigger was going to happen in December, adding "This campaign, coupled with last month's fundraising effort, starts to piece together the range of impact we want to encourage. I want to match convention with lightheartedness where possible. On that, it looks like for December we're going to be attempting something far bigger than even my dreams could aspire to. We've a HUGE idea and are going to give it a good go. As for what it is, you'll have to wait until the 1st December!"

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