LEE'S SUMMIT, Mo. — Since 2016, Jennifer Hunsinger has bought blank yard signs and filled them with words of encouragement.
"I thought if we could put positive messages in the yards in the houses of the neighborhood, then it would bring people together and maybe take their minds off of their differences," Hunsinger said.
It's called Project Happiness LSMO
"We know that these words on these simple signs make a difference to people and we're going to continue to do that," Hunsinger said.
In 2020, she saw the interest grow even more.
People would just come by and pick them up. We'd put 30 to 40 signs every day and they'd be gone by that afternoon." Hunsinger said. "People contacted us and wanted the signs and so we placed the signs at the end of our driveway and said please take the signs because people wanted that encouragement, that kindness, that hope."
She and her daughters, Georgia and Charlotte, made over 1,500 signs last summer.
"It's a lot of fun, and we like to share our messages," Hunsinger said.
"One year I made a sign that sign that said you're the GOAT and my mom said nobody's gonna know what that means and I was like, 'Everybody's going to know what that means,'" Charlotte said with a smile. "So that's my favorite one and everyone loves the GOAT sign."
Many might say the family is the GOAT - the Greatest of All Time.
Yards in Hunsinger's neighborhood are filled with an uplifting word.
"Oh I love it, they make me happy," Hunsinger said. "Even when I'm driving down the street, I slow down to look at them all."
Now, she encourages and works with individuals, groups and organizations to write their own meaningful message to share.
"There are people out there who are struggling and suffering and they need to know that there are people that care," Hunsinger said.
"We want them to make them feel valued," her daughter, Charlotte added.
And sometimes, a simple reminder to "Shine Bright" can make the dark days better.
"Maybe they don't hear those kind words, so if they drive down our street and see one of those signs, it might make their day better and that's the feedback we heard from our community, and we're just going to continue to do it," Hunsinger said.
Project Happiness LSMO is now a 501c organization and has helped a number of different organizations that help people in need:
- They raised $1,800 for FosterAdopt Connect to buy new shoes for the foster program
- They helped pay off lunch debt at Richardson Elementary
- They helped Paws for Autism, a local group that helps raise animals that work with kids with autism
- They helped sponsor an adoption for a Missouri pit bull rescue
- They bought a refrigerator for Cold Water's No Hungry Kids Program
To help fund supplies for the signs, create signs or if you would like one, visit the project's website.
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