Justin Trudeau – P.E.I. premier to help Brudenell boy spread smiles across Canada | Regional-Lifestyles | Lifestyles
CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. —
A six-year-old Brudenell boy thinks everyone needs to smile a bit more.
So, with the help of his mother, Lindsay Steele, Clem Campbell started a little venture called Smile Reminder, a pin which people can wear on their shirts.
Premier Dennis King heard about the young entrepreneur and invited Clem and his family to his office in Charlottetown on Friday for lunch. King also asked the youngster to bring a bag of pins with him so that he could mail one to each of the provincial premiers and territorial leaders, as well as Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.
“Since COVID hit, people have had to wear masks for so long, like going into stores and churches, so I decided to make people smile (with these reminder pins),’’ Clem told the media following pizza and garlic fingers with the premier.
“Because of their mask, you can’t know if people are smiling or not. If you’re not smiling, it’s not good. People should always have a smile.’’
Clem is selling the pins for $2 each. People can reach out to Steele through her Facebook account if they’re interested in purchasing one. Clem said he will be donating some of the money he makes to the P.E.I. division of the Canadian Cancer Society, explaining that his grandfather is battling colon cancer.
How the Smile Reminders are made:
• The first batch were made out of dough, which Clem’s mom simply baked in the oven.
• His mom then ordered air-dried clay from Amazon and did the next batch that way.
• Clem’s four-year-old brother, Emmett, helps out by painting smiley faces on the pins.
• The family has made 250 pins so far, all with tender-loving-care, from their kitchen table.
King said he was touched by the fact Clem is trying to make the world a little bit brighter.
“Obviously, the last 10 and a half months have been very, very difficult – life-altering for so many. And it’s really changed the way we operate as a society, and not all of it for the good,’’ King said. “Sometimes we forget that we will find our way through this and the best way through this is to support one another … to stand with one another and do the little things – the small gestures that are so important, such as a smile.
“We walk around now, and everybody has a mask on. As Clem says, you don’t know if they’re smiling or they’re angry and when you see a button like this it makes you think, ‘what a simple but poignant and important gesture’.’’
King said far too many of his virtual meetings with his colleagues across the country have taken on an angry tone, adding that they could learn something from Clem.
“I think all of the Canadian leaders could remember the importance of a smile. (Clem has) an entrepreneurial spirit, a good heart, a good smile and a good outlook on life and we can learn so much from that.’’
Following are things that make Clem Campbell smile:
• Getting a good scare
• Trying anything for the first time
• Being interviewed by the media
• Making other people smile
• Watching the Toronto Maple Leafs
Steele said to say that she’s proud of her son doesn’t come close to describing her feelings.
“It’s unbelievable,’’ Steele said. “Just the fact of where we are today, sitting in the premier’s office having lunch because of a little idea a six-year-old had. It’s just amazing.’’
Steele said Clem came to her two weeks ago with an idea to start a business, one that would make people happy. After tossing around some ideas, they came up with the Smile Reminder pin.
Steele said it made her smile.
“Just knowing that right now he’s making other people happy … that’s what makes me smile.’’
Clem said he hopes this little venture helps cheer people up.
Dave Stewart is The Guardian’s culture reporter. [email protected] @DveStewart