Julie Robertson and her sons, 9 year old Carter and 7 year old Parker, love giving to and serving the people of their community.
So much so that in 2018, the Fishers family created Kids Spreading Joy, an endeavor where they create projects to help others. They share their projects on social media (@kidsspreadingjoy on Facebook and Instagram), and they encourage other families to share their ideas and spread happiness to their communities, too.
What are some ways that you and your family are spreading joy to the community right now?
One of the bigger projects that we’ve done as a family is to provide birthday boxes to those in need. We love being able to treat our children to a special day, and it hurts our hearts for the families who might not be able to afford this extra treat.
Two years ago, for my sons’ birthdays, we created and delivered birthday boxes — cake mix, frosting, candles, balloons, birthday banner and plates — to a local food pantry. Last summer, we organized a project for our son’s kindergarten classroom and provided birthday boxes for the Fishers Youth Assistance Program summer meals program. Every week, as families came to pick up their weekly meals, if they had a birthday that week, they were also able to pick up a birthday box to make sure they were able to celebrate,
Now, with people stuck at home and family finances changing, we’ve been donating birthday boxes to any family in need during this time. Anyone can send us a private message, and we will do our best to be able to provide a birthday box. We’ve not gone into any stores since the lockdown has happened, but we’ve been trying to add supplies to our grocery pickup as much as possible.
It’s been fun for the boys to be able to put the box together with the requested flavors, and to talk about how it’s helping the families and how we’d feel if we were unable to celebrate our birthdays.
Have you had to change the way you do your projects because of the pandemic?
Some of the projects we’ve done in the past were at playgrounds or more face-to-face interaction with people, so we no longer do those. But we also have a lot of projects where we’re able to spread joy without any interaction — just porch drop-offs or pickups.
What other fun projects have you guys done?
One of our first projects, and also one of my sons’ favorites, was hiding dinosaurs at playgrounds with “Finders Keepers” tags for children to find. It’s always fun to hide them secretly and watch from a distance as a child finds your surprise and you can see their excitement.
Last summer, we created Operation Spread Joy, where we dropped off secret mission sunglasses on the porches of all our friends to encourage them to complete our mission of finding three ways to spread joy, whether big or small.
Family movie night is something our family looks forward to every Friday night, so for both Christmas and Valentine’s Day, we created movie boxes and dropped them off on friend’s porches for movie night surprises.
How can others get involved in your mission to spread joy?
We are always looking for new ideas, and we love for people to share with us the ways they are spreading joy in their community. Spreading joy doesn’t have to be expensive or a grand gesture — just doing a simple act of kindness can spread joy to someone in a big way.