Creating Happiness, One Card at a Time: Corinne Mattia
Nov 04, 2014 03:57PM
● By Marilyn Eppolite
Corinne Mattia didn’t expect that her 22nd birthday would result in the creation of an organization that specializes in sharing happiness. She enjoyed receiving numerous handcrafted birthday greetings, given by her most cherished friends. Being a self-proclaimed “eternal optimist”, she would save the cards as a reminder of the joy she felt that day.
As she recalled the feelings instilled from her cards, Corinne confirmed what she learned in studying positive psychology as a student at Stockton College. It’s the scientific study of meeting life’s challenges with a positive outlook and making the best of life’s adventures. When focusing on positive thoughts and outcomes, a sense of peace emanates from within, no matter how outer circumstances appear.
People experiencing difficult challenges need frequent messages to help them envision a brighter future. Handcrafted cards adorned with inspirational quotes or kind words of understanding could offer support to those in need. She felt that the need for positive feelings was especially important for homeless people and decided to focus on distributing cards to shelters and others groups providing services to them.
Some of Corinne’s interests—creativity, Buddhist philosophy and positive psychology—and her desire to help the homeless, eventually merged to create the foundation for The Happy Card Project. On September 22, she and a group of friends distributed 300 cards in Manhattan in coordination with the Homeless Bus, Inc., that has been providing hot food, clothing and toiletries to the homeless from a 17-passenger bus every Saturday night since 1992.
The appreciation for the cards has been evident in the comments from those receiving them…
“So, you guys give cards to people who wanna smile? Wow, that’s beautiful.”
“This was perfect timing, I’m keeping this with me everywhere I go.”
“Thank you so, so much, really. This means a lot, you have no idea.”
Mattia hasn’t been surprised by their reactions. She knows the power of sharing kind words. “The more we share, the more we have.” She sees the simplicity in this approach. “Creating happiness in ourselves and sharing this gift not only inspires others but increases our sense of pleasure, creating a positive cycle in the world,” she comments. “Some pursue happiness, others create it.”
Individuals, schools, businesses and nonprofit groups can send donations of handwritten cards to: The Happy Card Project, P.O. Box 3802, Cherry Hill, NJ 0803. Local organizations providing help to the homeless can contact her to request cards.
For more information, visit TheHappyCardProject.com or on Facebook.
Marilyn Eppolite specializes in emotional balance and resilience through energy therapies and spiritual counseling, and blogs about living an emotionally balanced life. She is creative director for Natural Awakenings magazine, South Jersey edition. Visit TheWisdomWithin.net.