The Swings Project
This kind of thing is exactly the reason I started Wonderlust. This random act of creativity just made my day.
Last year, Jeff Waldman and a few friends were talking about the simple joy of swings. Out of that conversation around a coffee table evolved a project to hang swings all over San Francisco “as a part of an ongoing Happiness Project aimed at a loss of youth.”
…And then they took the project to LA, the Marshall Islands, and Panama. Now they’re headed for Bolivia through this Kickstarter project, which received over 200% funding (!), all with the goal of adding a little moments of happiness to people’s lives.
Here’s more about the the mission from his kickstarter page: It’s a universal message. An appeal to celebrate the passions of our youth, to give in to simplistic urges, but mostly, to remind people of the difference a smile can make in their day and the infectious effect that smile has on those they encounter.
Check out the video below to see lots more examples of places the swings have been hung and how the whole process happened.
Waldman has done other such projects, including this Mother’s Day Project where he installed supplies on public mailboxes, including prepaid postage envelopes, for sending your mother a card.
Also, their mission of putting smiles on people’s faces reminded me of this great little TED talk about the power of smiling. Did you know that a person’s smile can predict their lifespan or their marriage? And that children smile over 400 times a day on average? And that a smiling actually makes you feel happier?
Finally, this also led me to discover The Awesome Foundation (they funded the LA Swings project), which gives $1000 grants to “furthers the interest of awesome in the universe– in other words, they give out $1000 to projects they think are cool, no strings attached. Oh the things I would do if I were rich. Actually, I think I would probably just spend tons of time on Kiva and Kickstarter and IndieGoGo… there are so many productive ways to give your money away on the interweb these days!