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SMILE in the Mirror

Updated: Sep 3, 2019

It was early, but the guys were up with the sun. It has become routine for them to wake early and eager for the day. After a quick breakfast with the guys, Steven was asked if he still wanted to raft the Delaware River.


“Yeah I do”, Steven said smiling ear to ear already in his flip flops and a tie-dyed fishing hat.


The guys helped load up the cooler and gear before departing for a fun-filled day down the Delaware. The river had a fair share of white water following heavy rain the previous day and navigating the water was a fun lesson in teamwork. The paddling was a wicked workout for each boat’s smiling crew and the entire trip was a testament to the endurance of the SMILE guys. Within the rapids, the river pulled us all closer together. Days like this are special. SMILE days are special.


Carl, Nate, Steven, Andrew, and Arthur all love getting out in their community together. This summer has been full of concerts in the park, church picnics, water balloon wars, karaoke, gardening, bowling, long walks at the park, longer days at the beach, and even golf outings.


Steven and Andrew recently attended Camp Merry Heart for five days. While there they stayed busy with rope courses, ziplines, bonfires, and beach time. They came home with stories of friendship and adventure, but the best part of their time away was the excitement they showed to be coming back home to SMILE.


While Steven and Andrew were camping, Nate decided to visit his family. While at his grandmother’s farm, called Roedale Farm, Nate helped out by mowing the lawn and helping to care for the cattle. Nate truly loves being outdoors, working with his hands, and getting dirty in the earth. When he returned home to SMILE, he surprised his housemates with the wonderful gift of grass-fed steaks, courtesy of Roedale Farm, which he helped grill to perfection outside with the guys. Thanks, Nate!


Once everyone was back home together, SMILE had some birthdays to celebrate! Andrew turned 29 August 6th so SMILE worked hard to surprise him with some awesome ninja decorations, costumes, and a delicious birthday cake. Andrew couldn’t have been more excited and after some singing and cake, all the guys had a blast playing some ninja games together. Happy birthday Andrew!


Arthur’s mom Carol also celebrated her birthday at SMILE! All the guys worked extra hard to decorate the house and prepare a chicken parmesan dinner for her, which Arthur assured us was her favorite. Everyone pitched in with dessert as well, which consisted of a strawberry shortcake surprise. It was a beautiful occasion. Happy birthday Carol!


Last weekend, the guys decided to go to Waterloo Village after hearing about an art exhibit. While there, the guys saw some beautiful paintings, learned a little bit about the history of the area, and how a seamstress and tinsmith operated in the 1800s. Waterloo Village is a beautiful area to walk around and the guys had a wonderful time together learning and laughing.


Please remember, SMILE is possible through the generosity of donors such as yourself. Every dollar helps to assist us in achieving the dream of providing special homes for those with special needs. Please help us grow, help us open our next home, and help us keep these adventures alive by making a tax-deductible donation through our secure website. Thank you all and remember to be the SMILE in someone’s day!



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©2019 by The SMILE of Hopatcong