Smiles All Around

By Jessica Greene
|  Monday, Jan 4, 2010  |  Updated 9:33 AM PDT
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This is one of the pictures that would fit right into Ruth Kaiser's Spontaneous Smiley gallery.

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It's a corny job but somebody's got to do it. That's how Ruth Kaiser of Orinda, Calif. looks at her crusade of spreading cheer. Sunny side up.

Kaiser has been taking pictures of smiley faces for years and has been collecting them on a Web site for two years now. She solicits the perky pictures from anyone and anywhere and posts them on her site, SpontaneousSmiley.com.

The self-proclaimed Smile Captain says she has always loved smiley faces and decided to invite everyone to take pictures of happy faces in anything and everything and upload them to the site. The site's Smiley Photo Gallery includes pictures of happy faces on food, computer parts, foliage and on all sorts of random everyday objects.

Kaiser outlines her simple philosophy on her site: "Eat your french fries slowly and get every moment of enjoyment out of those calories. Search for the beauty and joy in the objects and in the activities in your life. It's there. Always. Eyes, ears and nostril open! Be porous! Or moments, hours, day, even your whole lifetime can slip by unnoticed."

Kaiser's infectious idea is growing. More than 8 million people have looked at the site so far. She's using her smile power to raise money for Operation Smile, a nonprofit that funds surgeries for children with cleft palates around the world.

In the (corny) words of the lead Smile Captain: "Smile. Be Happy. Join the Movement."

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