Join The Sugarlump Adventure In Kindness
Are you ready for an adventure in kindness? It could be a life changing experience.
That's what Erin Sorenson of Lake Oswego hopes. With her friends, Heather Gardella and Beret Dahms of Lake Oswego and Nicole Selis of Portland, she has launched Sugarlump to spread the spirit of kindness far and wide.
Sorenson remembers being ostracized by "mean girls" as a nine-year-old. She was feeling sad and alone a lot of the time and turned to art as an outlet. She began drawing pictures of other students in her classes, then folded the paper into intricate boxes to give them to them.
"When they unfolded them they saw their image and would say 'That's me!'" said Sorenson. The drawings prompted big smiles and her simple acts of kindness blossomed into friendships. "I took the old fashioned note passing and built a friend group."
Sorenson has not lost touch with how simple acts of kindness affect others, and now, 40 years later, she says the time has come to share kindness in a larger way.
"A sugarlump is the love you feel in your heart when you're kind," Sorenson writes on her website sugarlumpsurprise.com. "Surprising someone with sweetness makes your sugarlump happy, their sugarlump happy, and pretty soon there are sugarlumps everywhere!"
Her friends joined the campaign lending their talents to the effort. A graphic artist with 25 years of advertising and industrial and brand design experience, Sorenson creates the charmingly endearing Sugarlump caricatures of the team members and materials; Beret Dahms is the communications director; Nicole Selis, a designer for the advertising firm Weiden+Kennedy, brings expertise in interiors.
"You have to feel good where you are," she said.
Heather Gardella is the owner of Dub Box USA, which creates mobile food, retail and event trailers. She created a delightful crowd-drawing trailer as the hub for Sugarlump — when you see it you can't help but smile. The Dub Box is full of "surprise acts of sweetness."
"We are all born with an unconditional love spark in our hearts — a sugar lump," Sorenson said. "Kids are loving and kind, compassionate and all-knowing right from the beginning."
At some point children and adults can lose that innate compassion, and that's where Sugarlump comes into play.
"It's a new way of looking at life," said Selis. "This has been a learning experience where we all pitch in with what we love. The kids have great ideas, too. Sugarlump can be a noun, a verb and an adjective. It is something we live."
The four women have nine children between them, and all whole-heartedly are ambassadors of kindness.
"They have taken ownership of sharing Sugarlump with other kids," said Selis.
Stella Selis says she had seen a lack of kindness at her school, but says things were starting to turn around at the end of the school year through acts of kindness.
"Getting (the kindness) started felt really good," she said.
Mia Dahms agrees.
"Sugarlump is great!" she said. "One simple act of kindness makes a difference. It doesn't take much — just a smile!" She says the Sugarlump kits are a reminder to do more acts of kindness.
Rather than passing notes Sugarlump relies on the technology of today to pass kindnesses along. The Sugarlump kit suggests acts of kindness a person can do on a daily basis. An augmented reality app lets participants use social media for good, promoting the good deeds.
Sugarlump has also partnered with neighborhood boutiques, restaurants and businesses to create 5,000 acts of kindness where kids and families are rewarded for their acts. Scanning a co-branded sticker triggers a video-mercial where characters announce the sponsored kindness challenge.
"It will empower our kids to become extraordinary citizens who pay kindness forward for the rest of their lives," Sorenson said.
"I believe in this 100%," said Dahm. "I believe it is something that will change the world. Sugarlump brings cheer and kindness. Doing something kind is contagious."
The HeartMath Institute, which empowers individuals, families and groups to enhance their life experiences using tools that enable them to better recognize and access their intuitive insight and heart intelligences, supports the women in their claim that "doing something good is contagious." According to its website heartmath.org, doing something kind even in secret can positively impact your physical, mental and emotional health. Other benefits are longer lifespan, less stress, improved cardiovascular system, increased energy, and improved immune system, lower risk of depression, stronger relationships and better performance at work and school.
"I would love nothing more than for you to join us on our adventure in kindness. The time has come," said Sorenson.
You can find the Sugarlump Dub Box at the Movie in the Park tonight (Aug. 1) at Westlake Park, 14165 Bunick Drive, Lake Oswego. It will be at Bridgeport Village from 5 to 7 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 4 and in Lake Oswego's Uplands Neighborhood from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Aug. 6 for National Night Out, and again Aug. 7 at Bridgeport Village from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
To learn more visit sugarlumpsurprise.com.
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