Random Kindness Relay

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Random Kindness Relay

We had an amazing time at our 1st Annual Random Kindness Relay! We had so much fun love bombing the uptown area and spreading some ripples of compassion out into the world! A HUGE thank you to the Awesome Foundation for helping make this happen!

We delivered plants to a nearby nursing home, gave out flowers, wrote notes of encouragement on the sidewalk, placed kindness post-it notes everywhere, hid money, painted and placed kindness rocks, wrote cards to kids in Cambodia, picked up trash, gave out dog treats, left baby wipes for parents in a crunch, gave high fives and hugs, posted free compliments posters, hid bookmarks in the free library books, called our moms, and more!

If you would like to host your own Kindness Relay in your neighborhood or community, we will send you a PDF full of ideas when you donate $5 to Print the Love for a family to get a photograph!

Lastly, thank you to Emily Woodward who made an incredible ripple photo backdrop out of tissue paper and to Josh Olson for taking beautiful photographs of the event. Also, thank you to the board and interns of Print the Love for all their hard work! And thank you to Lara at Anahata Collaborative for hosting us in such an amazing space!

We also want to thank our other in-kind donors: 

We hope you will join us in 2019!

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Love to Bolivia

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Love to Bolivia

Print the Love gives away instant photos to those who do not have access to these unique treasures.

Travelling is always an adventure and this trip was no exception! Our team of 3 women - Erica, Madison, and Ceallaigh trekked all over Bolivia spreading photo love for 12 days! We have included some highlights here. We have SO many wonderful stories and memories that we would love to share with you! If you are interested in hearing more (because you are headed to Bolivia yourself and want some advice, interested in our work or going on a Print the Love trip, or something else!) let's set up a coffee date! In person or virtual! Email Ceallaigh at ceallaigh@printthelove.org.

Bolivia Trip Highlights:

  • Bolivia is an incredible country with immense beauty! Both in its people, culture, and natural landscape. 
  • We gave away over 1500 photos to all ages! The joy of giving away photos is profound - both for the giver and the receiver. 
  • This is the first trip we included protectors with each photo, thanks to UltraPro! So that the photos can last for generations!
  • In addition to the photos, we gave over 500 custom note cards to school children made by elementary students from Minnesota with the message, "You matter!" written in Spanish. 
  • We stayed in 5 different cities all over Bolivia at various altitudes (15k - 6k high) - Carmen Pampa, La Paz, Uyuni, Cochabamba, and Oruro. We stayed at a college, hotel, hostel, artist home/hobby farm (our favorite! A must-stay!), and an Airbnb. We meet such wonderful people and hosts and recommend all the places we stayed! We have linked them all here. 
  • We traveled in dozens and dozens of taxis, survived death road (yikes! not for the faint of heart), flew in 7 airplanes, hiked and drove over the Andes mountains and watched stars at the Salt flats (a must do if you are visiting Bolivia!). 
  • We ate llama for the first time and had lots of Coco tea to combat altitude sickness. 
  • We gave away photos to rural communities (hiking through the jungle), college dorms, city markets, a nursing home, a orphanage, and many many schools.
  • Our translators were awesome! They contributed to our mission is remarkable ways and participated in giving away photos. Thank you Felix, Nora, Alex, and Graciela!
  • And a HUGE thank you to all our amazing donors who helped make this trip happen!

 

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Supply the Love: Haiti

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Supply the Love: Haiti

In 2017 we launched Supply the Love! We supply the camera and film and you supply the love.  We would love to have you be an ambassador of Print the Love! If you are traveling to an under-resourced community anywhere on the globe in the next year and would like to participate in spreading random photo kindness to the local people, lets chat! Together we can make a difference! Application is online.

The Supply the Love program is 100% supported by donors. If you are not travelling, you can still donate funds towards the camera and film for those who are.

As part of the program, we ask that ambassadors write a short description of their experience. All the words are their own.

Deb in Haiti

I have worked with Feed My Starving Children (FMSC) hosting mobile pack events for the past 6 years.  When they offered a Food in Action trip to Haiti myself and another committee member, we jumped at the chance to go. 

During our five days in Haiti, the 19 of us with FMSC were kept on the move.  On Sunday we attended church and visited a metalsmith market.  Monday, we visited Melissa’s Hope, a special needs orphanage and Chance’s for Children, an orphanage & clinic.  Wednesday, we visited The Apparent Project and the Good Shepherd Orphanage.  Thursday, we went to Real Hope for Haiti, a rescue center for starving babies and others and in the afternoon, we visited Hot Futbol, an afterschool soccer program that feed the children following their practice. 

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At Melissa’s Hope, most of the children were confined to wheelchairs and had been abandoned by their parents.  Pascal and his wife have taken them in and will care for them the rest of their lives.  The orphanage receives no state funding so when I took out the camera and started taking their pictures – the pictures were treasured!  The smiles and laughs were music to our ears! 

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Chances for Children includes an orphanage for children who are eligible for adoption and a clinic for the community.  The adoption process takes 15 months to 2 years. All the children have been given up by their birth parents and are waiting for their forever home.  They were excited to have a picture of their own to keep.  They kept yelling Me, Me, Me! In hopes that I would take another picture of them!  I had to keep saying ‘Only one”.

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When we visited Real Hope for Haiti we saw children that were severely malnourished but were excited to have their picture taken.  The rescue center is about 10 miles out of the city, but the travel and roads made it a very challenging place to visit.  Mothers would walk 2-6 hours just to get their sick children to the center. 

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The Hot Futbol program is unique that the kids come to play soccer, but it was when they were playing in a tournament they soon discovered that the kids didn’t have enough to eat to keep their strength up to finish the tournament, that is when they connected with FMSC to give them food.  The kids come from all over Port Au Prince to play soccer. 

This was a wonderful experience for all involved.  Thank you for the opportunity to Share the Love!

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Supply the Love: Guatemala

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Supply the Love: Guatemala

The first time I traveled out of the United States, I noticed that most kids the same age as me didn't have pictures of themselves or family. This peaked my interest in how I could make a difference by giving them a photo to keep.

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6 Tips to Achieve Any Goal

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6 Tips to Achieve Any Goal

A new year symbolizes a fresh slate, and many of us find renewed energy to make positive change in our lives, often through setting resolutions that we have the best intentions of keeping. But how many of us actually follow through with our resolutions?

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Practicing Gratitude

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Practicing Gratitude

We’re all allowed to feel frustrated, angry, negative, [insert emotion here], but it’s helpful to remember the good things too, no matter how big or how small. 

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3 Truths I was Reminded of By Doing the WCCO News Interview

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3 Truths I was Reminded of By Doing the WCCO News Interview

If you are new to the Print the Love family, welcome! We are so excited that you are here with us!

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On November 13th, World Kindness Day, my husband, Stephen, Media Relations Intern, Madison, and I were invited to come in for an interview at the CBS local news studio in Minneapolis by reporter Susan-Elizabeth Littlefield. A HUGE thank you to Susan-Elizabeth and her camerawoman, Melissa! They were both awesome and did a wonderful job with the story and sharing the mission of Print the Love!


As you can imagine we were ecstatic to get the interview for our little but growing nonprofit. A day I will never forget, so I decide to jot down a few thoughts about it. 

3 Truths I was Reminded of by Doing this Interview

1. Keep Going
I have been working on Print the Love a lot over the last few years. As a full-time working mom, I usually work on it after the kids go to bed or on my lunch break. Most of it has been extremely rewarding but there have also been days that it has been lonely and exhausting. Days I questioned, should I keep going with this? And each time that thought crossed my mind, I just kept saying "yes". "Just keep going and be patient," I would tell myself. Slowly, day by day, it has grown. Incredible people have come in to help and then suddenly I have to pinch myself that I am on TV for something I love and am proud to be a part of! There is still so much more work to do and new heights for Print the Love to reach and I am just going to keep going until I know it is time to be done. If you have a specific dream, a goal, a vision, just keep going. Day by day, you be you, ask for help, be kind to yourself, and you will get there! I promise!

2. Be Kind to Yourself
Even though I talk a lot about self-care with the Print the Love community, I still need to be reminded of it myself. My initial reaction is always to judge my appearance - especially on a TV spot! I don't like my hair. I hate my makeup. I should have worn another shirt. Ultimately just noise in my head that stops me from moving forward. In the past I would of laid awake at night worrying about what people think of me. Something I can't control. But this time I am choosing to let it go. How I look doesn't say anything about the work we do. If you need this reminder too, let's both work on being better human beings and not worrying about the outside package.

3. You Live and You Learn
I rarely go on a show like this, like never, and I was quite nervous. Did I forget the camera I brought in the car and have to run 3 blocks to go back to get it in the middle of the interview. Yep! Did I forget film at home? Yep! Did I forget to say things in the interview? Yep! But you live and learn and I will be more prepared next time. If you have made a few mistakes recently too, no worries. There is always next time!

Gratefully,
Ceallaigh

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5 Ways to Participate in World Kindness Day 2017

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5 Ways to Participate in World Kindness Day 2017

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Here at Print The Love we're gearing up to celebrate World Kindness Day 2017, and we'd like to share some ideas on how you can join in as well! Many of you probably already know what World Kindness Day is, but for those of you who don’t, here's a brief outline:

World Kindness Day is celebrated every year on November 13th, and it's the perfect opportunity to do something nice for someone. How crazy is that? A day of the year set aside just for being nice? Yes, we know, every day should be World Kindness Day, but for now, we will use November 13th as an excuse to be EXTRA nice!

So how can you join in on the movement? Well, below you will find five simple suggestions on how you can take a few moments out of your day to be nice to people, and do something kind!

1.     A Simple Gesture or ‘Hello!’

So often, we get caught up in our own lives, and we forget that even a simple hello can make someone’s day that much better.

  • Say hi to your garbage man.
  • Hold the door for the person who got coffee in front of you at Starbucks.
  • Refill the water jug at work instead of leaving it for the next person.
  • Park a few spaces further from the door when you're picking up groceries, and leave a closer parking space open for someone else.

Little things like this can truly make a difference!

2.     Pay it Forward

Remember the person you held the door open for at Starbucks? Maybe upon getting to the register you find out your order is already paid for! Your day automatically becomes better. Now pass that on!

We know not all of you will find yourself in a financial position to do this, but there are plenty of other ways to pay it forward!

  • Clean out your closet and donate your extra clothes to a shelter.
  • Donate blood.
  • Offer to babysit for a couple or a single parent so they can enjoy a night out!

Paying it forward is a simple, yet amazing way to be kind in your everyday life.

3.     Call Someone You Haven’t Talked to in a While

Simply acknowledging someone is often enough to brighten their day. Maybe you have a friend you haven’t spoken to in awhile, or you know a certain someone who might be struggling with some personal stuff right now; call them and catch up!

A simple “Hi! How are you doing?” could be enough to turn their entire day around, and it costs you nothing.

4.     Give Someone a Shout Out

We all have those people in our lives that do way more for us than we do for them. It isn’t that we don’t do things for them, it’s just that they are such amazing people that you would never be able to do as much for them as they do for you. Well, this one is for them!

Take a moment and give them a shout out on Facebook! Thank them for everything they do for you. Let them know that their efforts do not go unnoticed, and tell them how much you appreciate them.

5.     Be Kind to Yourself!

So often, and everyone here at Print The Love is certainly guilty of this, we tend to focus so much on helping others, that we forget to think about ourselves. We are firm believers that to help others, you must first help yourself.

  • Treat yourself to lunch at your favorite café.
  • Set aside some time in the evening to take a bath and enjoy a good book.
  • Buy those concert tickets.
  • Go to that birthday party your friend is having.

Take the time to be kind to yourself, and soon you will be able to show kindness to others even more frequently.

 

Let us know what you’ll be doing for World Kindness Day 2017 by telling us on our Facebook page here!  

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Supply the Love: Argentina

Supply the Love: Argentina

In 2017 we launched Supply the Love! We supply the camera and film and you supply the love.  We would love to have you be an ambassador of Print the Love! If you are traveling to an under-resourced community anywhere on the globe in the next year and would like to participate in spreading random photo kindness to the local people, lets chat! Together we can make a difference! Application is online.

The Supply the Love program is 100% supported by donors. If you are not travelling, you can still donate funds towards the camera and film for those who are.

As part of the program, we ask that ambassadors write a short description of their experience. All the words are their own.

Krystal in Argentina

Stepping into the city of Buenos Aires you would be surprised to realize you are in South America.  The city has a distinctly European vibe due to Argentina’s history of settlement by predominantly Spanish and Italian immigrants during the colonial era.  Upscale storefronts dot the streets amid gelaterias and classical architecture.  Beyond the surface though, the city is filled with countless tales of healing, restoration and resiliency. 

In July of 2017, I travelled to Argentina as part of an art therapy internship with my program at NYU.  Already devoted to Print the Love’s mission as a Board Member, I applied to Supply the Love while in Argentina.  At first I envisioned supplying the love to individuals in Buenos Aires apart from my internship; however, it quickly became apparent that supplying the love could become an integral component of the healing and empowerment connected to our art therapy sessions. 

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Lucy* arrived in Argentina with her brother and naught else to her name.  After her home country was ravaged by war, peace emerged from the ashes.  She imagined her family could begin to thrive once more.  Not one year later, the terrible scourge of Ebola killed her mother and father and her and her brother fled once more, not from the terror of human violence but from the dread of the terrible fate that could await them from the disease.  When they arrived in Buenos Aires they had no pictures, no memories to hold from their childhood and no money to purchase any sort of pictures of their present together.

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They eagerly engaged in art therapy over the course of the three weeks, exploring themes of grief, identity and resilience as they processed their pasts and struggled to make a way in their presents despite the barriers of language, racism and pending work status.  One of the core concepts in art therapy is that of the “transitional object.”  The concept developed from Donald Winnicott’s work with children in the 1950’s when he discovered that children learn to self-soothe apart from their caregivers through the use of a transitional object like a blanket or stuffed animal that reminds them of the constancy and security of the caregivers. The same concept can hold true when individuals are able to remind themselves of safe spaces and joy by looking at mementos from those times. 

 

After three weeks of working together, the clients created an art exhibition of the work that they had made.  They invited members of their community, also in flux, to the exhibition and were surprised by Supply the Love.  We showered love on each individual through the gift of an instant photograph that they could return to to remember the healing journey and community they had experienced.  Lucy summed it up the best at the end when she said, “I was a seed, all burned up and dried out, but the fire did not kill me.  Now I am being planted and watered by love.” 

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Thank you, Supply the Love, for helping Lucy feel loved, valued and celebrated even in the middle of life’s difficult trials.  With the help of others from my program, we were able to give forty photographs away to refugees, asylum seekers, developmentally delayed adults and terminally-ill cancer patients from undervalued and ignored communities in the city of Buenos Aires. 

*Name changed to protect client privacy

Supply the Love: North America/Mexico Part 1

Supply the Love: North America/Mexico Part 1

In 2017 we launched Supply the Love! We supply the camera and film and you supply the love.  We would love to have you be an ambassador of Print the Love! If you are traveling to an under-resourced community anywhere on the globe in the next year and would like to participate in spreading random photo kindness to the local people, lets chat! Together we can make a difference! Application is online.

The Supply the Love program is 100% supported by donors. If you are not travelling, you can still donate funds towards the camera and film for those who are.

As part of the program, we ask that ambassadors write a short description of their experience. All the words are their own.

Jenny in North America/Mexico

Mother, Me (Part 1)

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Project Overview:

Mother, Me is a storytelling project in collaboration with young mothers in North America (most
recently taking place in Northern New Jersey and Mexico City). Supply the Love has generously
supplied instant film and cameras for the young mother participants to take home portraits of
themselves and their newborns. This is the first in a of two blog posts from the Mother, Me
workshops.


Dispatch #1:
“Do you want to listen to Ariana Grande or Beyonce while you give birth?”


Cheyenne (1) shakes her head no with a small smile in response. She is holding her house mate Alicia’s sleeping 5 month year-old daughter while Alicia and I help her curate a birthing playlist
of music for the delivery room. Cheyenne is both days away from her due date and her 18th
birthday. Both Alicia and Cheyenne are residents of Zoe’s Place—a residence program designed
to provide safe housing for pregnant teen moms and their children.


In the United States more than half of the teenage girls who bear children never graduate high
school, and less than two percent earn a college degree by the age of 30. Recently funding
programs for teen pregnancy prevention, support and research has been significantly reduced
nationwide (2). When Alicia was pregnant with her daughter she was still in high school and
needed help. “I was looking for help, and I learned about the Zoe Place’s program from a
counselor at school,” she says. “I met with the staff and they helped me finish school and get a
job. I always have wanted to be a nurse.” Alicia recently earned a certificate as a medical
assistant and has a part-time job. She is saving up for a car and apartment and making plans to
live on her own with her daughter.

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Originally as a Lewis Hine Fellow (3), I got to know and share photography with the young mothers support group at Zoe’s Place. The tight-knit group consists of both past and former Zoe’s Place residents. In addition to providing a safe place to live, Zoe’s Place staff offer comprehensive child care and assistance programs like the young mother’s group in order to meet the critical need for education, parenting skills and support services that will enable the teens to become self-sufficient in the long term.


In addition to making a instant photograph portrait of each of the young women and child, we collectively look at different photographs related to motherhood and/or photographed by mothers. One of the photo books we worked at during this particular workshop was Latoya Ruby Frazier’s book The Notion of Family.

We were looking at a photograph in the book titled, Mom Relaxing My Hair in which the
photographer and her mother gaze intently into a vanity mirror as her mother does her hair.
One of the group members starts flipping through her phone while we are talking about the
photograph. I worry that she has lost interest until she shoves the flip phone in my face
giggling. I look at the phone screen and see a reminiscent photograph of her braiding a young
girl’s hair in front of a large mirror, who she goes on to explain to me is her sister. I love how a photograph can make us look both outward and inward, cultivating human
connections and common ground in the process.


I see this reflected in the young women’s faces when they hold their instant photograph portrait, watching as it develops. In more than one case, I’m told this is the first printed photograph of themselves with their child they possess. I am immensely grateful to Supply the Love for the opportunity to connect with these young women and their children through instant photography.

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(1) names have been changed to protect privacy of participants
(2) https://www.revealnews.org/article/trump-administration-suddenly-pulls-plug-on-teen-pregnancy-programs/
(3) https://documentarystudies.duke.edu/production/projects/lewis-hine

Supply the Love: Malawi

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Supply the Love: Malawi

In 2017 we launched Supply the Love! We supply the camera and film and you supply the love.  We would love to have you be an ambassador of Print the Love! If you are traveling to an under-resourced community anywhere on the globe in the next year and would like to participate in spreading random photo kindness to the local people, lets chat! Together we can make a difference! Application is online.

The Supply the Love program is 100% supported by donors. If you are not travelling, you can still donate funds towards the camera and film for those who are.

Dan was our first ambassador of the Supply the Love program! As part of the program, we ask that ambassadors write a short description of their experience. All the words are their own.

Dan in Malawi

 

The Ntchisi Forest Reserve is Malawi’s last remaining rain forest and is surrounded by subsistence farming. Children waved to our jeep from villages on the un-paved road up to the forest. I thought I would have better luck taking photographs at these villages than at the police station where we caught our ride to the forest. My first attempt to take portraits resulted in three young boys running away from me in a field.

We stopped near a village to take instant portraits the day we left the forest. Our driver explained the instant portraits in Chichewa to the villagers and a few agreed to photographs. I took photos and started handing them out. People were now really starting to like their portraits. More and more children showed up and they started raising their hands wanting to be next. I took the portrait of a small boy wearing a New York City t-shirt and a small girl with a baby on her back with elaborate hair. My friends in the jeep were opening up new film packs as fast as I finished them. The boy with the NYC shirt raised his hand to be photographed. I was sure I already got him, but I did not see him holding a photo. Was I about to take his portrait before but ran out of film? I took a photo and gave it to him. I expected that the kids were hiding their photos so that I would take 2nd ones for them. I asked our driver to explain one portrait per person and some order was established. The driver said that everybody had one now and that we were good to go. I grabbed my digital camera to take photos of kids holding the instant portraits and then I started to see a few of them holding doubles!

At a gas station on the road from Ntchisi to Lilongwe we stopped to check our tires. An attendant walked over to my open window to say hello. I asked if he would like to have his photo taken and he said sure. The attendant was very grateful for the photo and asked if a second one could be made. Unfortunately because it was still early in the trip I said I could only do one photo so that I would not run out of film.

I was visiting friends in Malawi that lived in a townhouse within a gated courtyard similar to what retirees enjoy in Florida only without a pool or shuffle ball courts. Or good water pressure. Or A/C. The complex had guards who worked all hours. My friends got to know the guards and would practice Chichewa by greeting them when we would enter or leave the gate. The guards were very friendly and professional despite earning low wages. Prior to leaving for Lake Malawi, I had a chance to take their portraits. One of the guards asked for the below photo to be sent to his phone via Bluetooth but the phone did not have enough storage available.

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At the end of our trip we stayed one night at a lodge on an island in Lake Malawi. I asked two gardeners how they were doing and offered to take portraits. The gardeners called over other lodge staff and I was happy to have the opportunity to give out more photos.

 

Print the Love facilitated interactions with the Malawi people that only occurred because I had an instant camera. I feel very fortunate for what I experienced in Malawi. I learned about Supply the Love while attending the Alec Soth event which I randomly saw advertised on Little Brown Mushroom’s Instagram feed. Thank you Print the Love for the opportunity to bring a moments of happiness to the people I met.

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Supply the Love Blog!

Supply the Love Blog!

In 2017 we launched Supply the Love! We supply the camera and film and you supply the love.  We would love to have you be an ambassador of Print the Love! If you are traveling to an under-resourced community anywhere on the globe in the next year and would like to participate in spreading random photo kindness to the local people, lets chat! Together we can make a difference! Application is online.

The Supply the Love program is 100% supported by donors. If you are not travelling, you can still donate funds towards the camera and film for those who are.

As part of the program, we ask that ambassadors write a short description of their experience. This blog is devoted to them! All the words are their own.