Have you ever been surprised by the sound of your laughter? I have. I remember the first time I laughed after a close friend had died. I was in the car, listening to the radio, and I was caught completely off guard. I remember feeling surprise and relief. Under all that grief, I was still there.
Maybe you can relate to my experience. A small moment of laughter that shifted your perception, that nudges you towards healing. It happens all the time. You miss a deadline, forget an anniversary, lose a favorite earring, and find a way to laugh it off.
This is our work.
Our work happens in small moments, but with lasting impact. A young girl laughing at a magic trick. A little boy learning to hula hoop. Two mothers giggling and playing a clapping game.
These small moments build on one another. It may seem that the importance of laughter is harder to quantify than serving meals or blankets. However, laughter is a measure of healing because it represents the ability to access and draw strength from the part of us that is resilient in the face of trauma. The impact of our work is expansive. We record the number of people who attend our free shows and workshops. We gather anecdotes, we listen to stories. We learn from a mother, that it is the first time the girl has laughed since leaving Syria three weeks earlier. A nurse tells us about the boy hadn’t played in days before the clowns arrived. An aid worker shares how watching our artists play games with the children is the first time in months she has cried from joy instead of tears. We hope that the laughter builds and grows after we leave.
As a reader, you can have a lasting impact, by becoming a member and making a recurring donation. By becoming a member, you directly support each project with a recurring, monthly donation. Think of it like your subscription to Netflix or Spotify, only instead of spending $10 a month for your own entertainment, you invest in someone else’s laughter. By becoming a member, you let us create more of these moments of levity, and help us work towards lasting impact.
We designed a new shirt for this year: a humble clown, mopping away a border. We hope you will take up this cause and join us, erasing borders and building equality.