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In this season of celebrating Easter, I am lost in thought about my faith.  I want to share a story about a smile… how a simple smile can reveal what is in our hearts.  And, to use the gifts you are given and not to compare yourself to others.  Not to consider some gifts better than others – after all a gift is a gift.  Sometimes we are the receiver of gifts and sometimes we are the giver of gifts.  I have been on both sides – both sides produce great joy.  I want to share a story about my faith.

Sometime in 2012 or 2013 I started volunteering at Gilroy Compassion Center.  It is a day center for the homeless and those in need.  The mission is to provide services for homeless residents of South Santa Clara County, CA, in a manner that is safe, respectful, responsible, and community-based. I started serving by greeting clients.  It didn’t take long for it to become not just a place to volunteer, but a place to develop relationships with the clients.  You get a different perspective when you know people personally versus making a judgment on a group of people.  I would open the door in the morning, welcoming clients in with a smile and a hug.  I did my best to remember their names.  I feel like we all want someone to know our name.  A line would form for the clients to sign in.  After signing in, there were breakfast items to eat, a place to sit and rest and to get connected to services.  Then I would help with those clients that needed a change of clothes and hygiene supplies.  The following story speaks to never underestimating what God-given gifts you have to serve.

Posted on Facebook: February 4, 2013 – 11:08am

If all I have to give is a smile, then I pray that will serve God.

Posted on Facebook: February 8, 2013 – 9:22am

Earlier this week I posted: “If all I have to give is a smile, then I pray that will serve God.” What prompted me to post this was – when I serve at the Compassion Center, a lot of the clients will compliment me on my smile. They thank me for what I do. I REALLY appreciate those comments – but really all I do is welcome them in, show them where the food is, offer them clothes, or hygiene items. I often don’t feel like I am helping in a significant way. And, so I thought – If all I have to give is a smile, then I pray that will serve God.

This morning I served at the Compassion Center – just like every Friday morning. While there, a woman taps me on my shoulder and asks me where I go to church. We had never met or even exchanged names. Veronica proceeded to ask me to pray for her. She shared her most private information with me. We had never met. At the end of the conversation I asked, “Out of curiousness how did you know I go to church?” She looked at me and said, “I could see it in your face”. 

God does use smiles!

I share this story with you to encourage you to never underestimate what you are capable of!  When Jan McCallum was gathering people for what would become pixels2Pages, in the early stages of our meetings, I called Jan and said, I don’t think I have anything to offer this group.  They are all so talented.  She didn’t let me quit.  I am so grateful for that.  We all have something to contribute.  I think that is what makes the pixels2Pages team so strong and the community strong, we all have such different talents and unique ways to apply the talents.  And I think p2P and the community can change the world. One smile at a time, one photo a time, one story a time.  I say keep the faith and keep doing what is loving.  Give of yourself and you won’t make a wrong turn.

Sometimes all it takes is a smile.

Page by Kim Mannino



Here is an Easter gift from me to you –  the Easter Cross Blueprint.  Click on the download button to get both 12×12 and 11×8.5 blueprints.

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25 Responses to Blog: Just Smile

  1. LynetteF says:

    A beautiful story and what a gift to discover the blueprint gift at the end. Thank you for such a servant’s heart to the homeless and us.

  2. WFehr says:

    Thank you for this beautiful blueprint!

  3. L. Cheryl Brandt says:

    This is a beautiful testimony. Thanks for sharing with us. This is evidence again that what we do with our lives often speaks louder than what we say. Bless you.

  4. Shirley Bennett says:

    Wonderful reflection – as soon as I saw the cross I thought “I wonder if I can make this”! Thank you for the blueprint – I am going to use it to make a memorial metal 12×12 gift for the wife if a dear friend who died suddenly on Holy Saturday – he was our running a d suffered a heart attack – he was only 61. His funeral was on Friday and we are all shattered. He was the vicar(rector) of a large parish in our city and I was part of his formation training. He is going to be so missed. thank you once again.

  5. Rosena Becker-Ross says:

    Thanks so much Mrs. Kim for sharing this beautiful blueprint and story. I love how everything works together for God’s Glory! Keep smiling!

  6. ks_snowangel says:

    Beautifully expressed. Thanks for sharing … and for the lovely Blueprint.

  7. anninfl says:

    Thank you for sharing your beautiful story and for the special blueprint. God bless you for all you do in your volunteering and as a Pixie. You are a blessing and encouragement to all of us.

  8. Carol Lindberg says:

    Beautiful story and blueprint. As soon as I saw your Cross page, I thought I have to learn how to do this. And then voila! You offered this as a generous gift! Thank you!!

  9. Fay Wilde says:

    Kim Thank you for sharing your smile! It reminds me of when I was Executive Director of the Blind Association Of Beaver County. One Woman who had no sight said Fay you have a beautiful smile and I said Pearl what makes you say that ? She said when you walk in the room we can feel it, its warms the room immediately. I loved that and loved working with the blind it taught me many things and I like you never thought a smile was a gift from God until then.

  10. Jan says:

    Such a good reminder, Kim. We all have gifts and much for which to be grateful – it’s up to us to share them! So glad you are brave enough to share yours! xx

  11. Chris Bremer says:

    Thank you for sharing the story and blueprint. When I click on the 2 sample pages, they don’t get larger so I can see them closer. How can I get them larger?

  12. Thank you, Kim! You are have a big heart and it shows in everything you do.

  13. Gloria says:

    Wow! That gave me goose bumps! Thanks for sharing and the beautiful blueprint

  14. Susan Baldwin says:

    Thank you for sharing this story…. it lets us realize that we all have so much to give, to share and to also reap the benefits of doing just that – very heartwarming. And also thanks for the lovely blueprint.

  15. Susan Nelson says:

    Thank you – this is just perfect and such a great way to bring those special moments of remembering why we celebrate so many of our holidays.

  16. Lindie says:

    We were in Florida for Spring Break. While there we went to church with my parents. The sermon was on sowing seeds. A smile and a hello is the easiest seed to sow and can really make someone’s day. Love to all.

  17. Linda Money says:

    Thank you for reminding us how even the little everyday things like a smile can reflect God in our faces. A smile, a word of encouragement, or a hug can make a difference in other people lives. And thank you for sharing your blueprint with us.

  18. Caroll says:

    Great post! I, too, volunteer and sometimes feel I’m not making a difference and that everyone else is so much better at sharing their gifts. Your post boosted my confidence that sometimes a smile and a kind word are all that is needed. Thanks for the Easter Cross Blueprint!

  19. Donna Ames says:

    Thank you for the blueprint and your awesome words of encouragement. I have to admit that I don’t always read the blogs. I’m so glad I took the time this morning.

  20. Gail Woodward says:

    Thank you! Loved the story and the blueprints.

  21. Donna says:

    Loved your story!! And thanks for the Blueprint!

  22. Karin Ebuen says:

    Lovely. Thank you for this timely blog.

  23. Corene says:

    Thank you for sharing the beautiful story and the blueprint.

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