Monday, June 10, 2013

Our Introduction Video!

Hi readers! Thanks so much for all the support! The outpouring kindness we're receiving is inspiring us to keep working on this organization. Remember to keep spreading your kindness: you can start a chain reaction that could change the world.

Andre Morris, one of the co-founders of Lunchbox Notes, took the time to put together this amazing video for our Quest2Matter submission. We hope you enjoy it. Please share it with your friends and family!

Also, we put together another video about what the two days of Quest2Matter meant to us. We would like to thank Angela Maiers and Choose2Matter for making this all possible. Just the fact that we knew someone believed in us gave us the desire to make a lasting difference. Angela Maiers published a blog post of her own along with our video on the page provided below. See the link if you're interested!

Remember to follow us on Twitter @YouMatterLBN !

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

I Challenge You- Abby Savidge Introduction

Hey! I'm Abby Savidge and I am a 16 year old at the Downingtown STEM Academy. I am an athlete (playing both lacrosse and field hockey) and I am involved in student council, (Co-President of Spirit Committee), etc. 

Together, we're going to change the world. Cliche? Yes, but I truly believe it. I have realized that you can't change someone's circumstances, home life, etc, but you CAN make their life a little bit better. Making a difference in ONE person's life is enough to motivate me to do whatever I can. Hopefully the person that you helped will be inspired to make someone else's life better as well - a chain reaction.

What inspired me?
A little while ago, I heard the story "An Invisible Thread" about a women named Laura who saved a little boy, Maurice, from his life on the street by a simple act of kindness. The story is difficult to put into words of my own, so above is a link to information and the video!

What really touched me was this: after the boy had been adopted and enrolled in school, Laura asked whether he wanted her to pack his lunch or give him money to buy lunch. The boy said "Would you please pack my lunch in a brown paper bag so that the kids at school will finally know that I have someone who loves me?"
The brown paper bag is symbolic of compassion and love- it means that someone cares about you. Someone took the time to make the lunch. This story and idea of the significance of a brown paper bag is what inspired Lunchbox Notes. However, we expanded lunchbox notes to be broader than keeping children from going hungry. Now, the brown paper bag (lunchbox) symbolizes acts of kindness and compassion to show someone that they matter. Everyone matters and deserves to know it. 

The Challenge
So, here is my challenge to you. This organization represents spreading happiness, impacting someone else's life for the better, and showing everyone that their existence matters. It's 3 simple steps:
  1. Find a brown paper bag (or something along those lines).
  2. Write down a quote, inspirational message, or put something in it that would make someone happy.
  3. Give it to a random stranger with the words "Lunchbox Notes" on the outside and "You Matter" to tell someone that THEY are important to this world and that they can brighten someone else's day as well. 
The goal is to have a chain reaction that will spread and leave people in the mindset that they can help someone. If everyone shows a little bit of compassion, the world will change. People will be happier. The smallest actions create the biggest effects. 

You don't have to change everyone's life- you just have to change a few and it'll be worth it. 

Do something kind for a random stranger or someone that you dont know that well and SHARE WITH US (via twitter or in email)! Share what you did or what act of kindness that someone else did for you (hopefully involving the lunchbox notes!) It's amazing the power of the smallest actions. Impact the world and spread the joy! Anyone can share a smile or a kind word- that's something that EVERYONE can do. That is my challenge to you- do a random act of kindness.

Abby Savidge
Follow Lunchbox Notes @YOUMatterLBN
Follow me @AbbSAVvy

Light the World on Fire - Carrie Filion Introduction

Aloha, my name is Carrie Filion and I'm a sixteen year old co-founder of Lunchbox Notes and a sophomore at the Downingtown STEM Academy. I volunteer as a juniour counselor at a children's art camp and plan to bring Lunchbox Notes to the children I teach to (hopefully) have them create notes of their own. I hope to someday work for NASA - but before I can explore the depths of the unknown, I need to create a happier and more meaningful environment on the beautiful planet we call home.

I truly believe that happiness radiates through actions: if you make one person happy you can spread that happiness to the world. It isn't about traveling to third-world countries or spending a lot of money. It's the simple act of writing someone a note to say that it's all going to be okay and that they are something special. One's happiness and sense of worth is not reflected by how fortunate they are or where they live, and we as founders saw this truth of life and created the the Lunchbox Notes project to reach all who need happiness. Within the next few months, Lunchbox Notes will be brought to our schoolmates, our fellow city dwellers, and beyond. Wherever we are going, we are taking Notes - from Italy and Guatemala to Philadelphia and our own neighbourhoods.

By dreaming big and starting small, we hope to fulfill our dream of spreading happiness - not only to those surrounding us, but to those in the farthest reaches of the globe. If we each perform one single act of kindess and give one single bag a day, over 3,000 lives will be reached by the end of a year. If, in turn, half of the people that receive a bag give a bag of their own to someone else, over 6,000 people will be reached. Our one simple act a day sets off a butterfly effect that can eventually and hopefully reach across the globe. A simple note may not be life-changing to some, but to others it could be exactly what they need to stay alive and stay dreaming.

By making Lunchbox Notes anonymous, it allows the project to be about the happiness of others instead of one's own pride. As Siddhartha said: "Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of that candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared." A wildfire is started with a single ember, one match can ignite a forrest. You have the power to spark happiness in one person - and in turn start a wildfire. Now its our turn to light the proverbial match, and we hope we can inspire others to light their own.

~ Namaste 
Carrie Filion
Follow Lunchbox Notes @YOUMatterLBN
Follow me @CarrieonWayward

All It Takes - Ben Wooten Introduction

Hi everybody!

My name is Ben Wooten, and I am a 16 year old at the Downingtown STEM Academy in Downingtown, Pennsylvania. I am incredibly passionate about my academics and lacrosse.

I am also passionate about our mission. With our Lunchbox Notes project, together we can spread smiles, happiness, and love around the world. All it takes is a simple, thoughtful action to make someone's day or change their attitude completely. We dream of a world where smiles are genuine, and happiness isn't rare. With your help, our dream can become a reality. Spread the love!

Ben Wooten
Follow Lunchbox Notes on Twitter: @YOUMatterLBN
Follow Me on Twitter: @ben_wooten1

Impossible? Just Watch Us. - Livvy Evans Introduction

Hi everyone! My name is Livvy Evans and I am one of the co-founders of Lunchbox Notes. I'm 16 and go to the Downingtown STEM Academy and I'm involved in volleyball, softball, and student council.

The vision for Lunchbox Notes is one that I found truly inspirational. Who can't remember a time when his or her day was absolutely made by someone's kindness? Whether it be a compliment, a small treat, or knowing that you have someone there for you, some aspects of life are complete game-changers in the complex world of human emotion. The most powerful characteristic of this project: it empowers people just for being a human being. Simply by being alive, you are empowered with the unshakable force to make someone's day. You never know when that simple act of kindness could change a day, change a life, or change the world.

We have set out to spread kindness around the world. With the implementation of the Lunchbox Notes mission, I can see greatness beyond our wildest dreams. We don't only want to reach people in our direct community, we also want to extend our program to those less fortunate around the world. This summer, I will have the opportunity to go on a service trip to Guatemala through Global Leadership Adventures. During the trip, I will be working with children at a school in rural Guatemala, and I plan to get the other GLA students involved to create Lunchbox Notes bags with messages in Spanish for these kids that deserve them more than anyone I can think of.

I am beyond excited for this to take off. I truly believe that every single bit of greatness that has ever occurred in the world has started with the phrase, "I have an idea." This is ours. And to those of you reading this that think we're crazy? I have 2 things to say: 1) You're right. 2) Just watch us.

Livvy Evans
Follow Us on Twitter @YouMatterLBN
Follow Me on Twitter @L0ng_LIV

Opportunity to Obligation - Mitch Brown Introduction

Hi, my name is Mitch Brown. I am currently a student at the Downingtown STEM Academy. I am involved in the Downingtown West Marching band and Crossfit outside of school.

Through the project  Lunchbox Notes, I feel that we have the ability to change a person's day with a simple act of kindness. Because this amazing opportunity has been placed in front of us, we not only have the motivation to complete the project, but we feel an obligation to assist our community.

One Bag at a Time - Cole McCook Introduction

Hi! My name is Cole McCook and I want to change the world one paper bag at a time. I'm 16 years old and I go to the Downingtown STEM Academy. I play high school golf and I'm a member of National Honor Society.

When I was a kid, and even still, my mom would write little notes in my lunchbox. I want kids to have the same feeling I did when I got that note and maybe even something special that went with it: a feeling of happiness. Everyone has the right to feel happy and everyone has the ability to give out happiness. Sometimes something that may seem small and insignificant has the ability to make someone's day better and boost their mood, which causes a chain reaction that makes others happy.

Life is too short to not do something extraordinary in your life and in someone else's. Remember: change the world one paper bag and one smile at a time.

Cole McCook
Follow Lunchbox Notes on Twitter @YOUMatterLBN

Ambition to Change - David Rosati Introduction

Trying to change the world as a typical high schooler may be one of the most ambitious things someone can attempt to do. But just because it's ambitious doesn't mean it can't happen. 

Hi, my name is David Rosati and yes, I am a typical 15 year old high schooler with a dream for big things to happen. I go to the Downington STEM Academy and I am a hockey player. 

But this all isn't about me. The point of this project, Lunchbox Notes, is to promote happiness and change in someone's heart. Our objective isn't just to make people feel happy, our objective is to take the time to let people know that they matter to more people than they know. Someone great once said, "Just because people don't understand you, doesn't mean you don't understand you." Take the opportunity to change a life for the better. Lunchbox Notes FOREVER!

David Rosati
Follow Lunch Box Notes on Twitter: @YOUMatterLBN
Follow Me on Twitter: @David_RoHoTi

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Ideas To Reality: Our Mission on Our First Day

If you were handed the power to single-handedly change the world…would you take it? Would you grasp the opportunity with unmistakable passion, unceasing excitement, and a desire deep in your bones to be an instigator of something great? Today, we were given the power to create something great through Angela Maiers's Choose2Matter campaign and the Quest2Matter project. We couldn't be happier that we get to participate and create something for the greater good of the world. 

Our Cause:

Every day, we wake up and we make a choice. Every day, we are given the power to single-handedly change the world. We walk past people on our way to work, in the halls at school, and around town. Every day you have the power to change the outlook of those people through a single act of kindness. Share a smile, exchange a hello, or let them know that they deserve to be happy. Did you say it? Did you make an effort? You never know what kind of impact it might have. You may not be able to change a person’s situation, but you can change his or her outlook to a positive one.

Friendship is the force that binds us all together. Random acts of kindness work to strengthen that force, for our unity depends on compassion. As human beings, we pass around a torch that lights up each of our hearts as we gain the capacity to pass it to others through our actions and words of kindness. This fire, set alight by the kindness of others, has the ability to spread around the world, expanding across borders that we thought would never be beaten down.

We hand the torch to you. You who has the unshakable potential to set off a spark, create a chain reaction, build a bridge, change a life, and to break the boundaries that have been set before us. You have the power to ignite change. Let your kindness make an impact today. 

Our Mission:

Lunchbox Notes sets forth on a mission to create a world where smiles are genuine and happiness isn’t rare. A world where thoughts count and actions matter. We will ignite the flame, pass the torch, and make a positive change that will spread across the world. By passing out paper bags filled with food, treats, compliments, challenges to spread kindness, and other things, we will alter the outlooks and attitudes of the people we reach for the better.

Above the group poses for a photo with Ms. Maiers (minus Andre and Carrie) after a fantastic first day of planning. Thanks for all the inspiration and for bringing the project to STEM! We are honored!
(Left to Right: Cole McCook, Mitch Brown, Ben Wooten, Livvy Evans, Emily McKain, Abby Savidge, Francesca Coyne, David Rosati, and Angela Maiers. Not pictured: Andre Morris and Carrie Filion)