Spreading Joy to Strangers—One Anonymous Message at a Time
It’s not Athesia Benjamin’s job to cheer people up, but it has become one of her favorite hobbies. Athesia is an artist and a mother of four, with almost two decades of teaching experience. Throughout her career, she has celebrated art as a tool of connection. Now she’s proving it with her latest project: a community-wide experiment that combines art, kindness, and chance.
Athesia has started leaving cards for strangers to find around town. (She’s based in upstate New York.) She creates 10 at a time and then places them in locations where people are likely to come across them. “These cards are intended to bring a bit of random, unexpected joy into the day of the recipient,” she explains. “They also bring fun, joy, and novelty into my life as well, and I need as much of those things as I can get.
In the year since she started her project, her cards have gotten more sophisticated. She plans to use our grant to buy her own cricut printer (she’s been using the one at the library until now), so that she can make her cards at home. Any additional funds will be put toward other supplies, including watercolor paints and brushes. Bringing more color to the world? Never a bad idea.