Creative Dundee

The Gratitude Jar – People Needed


Volunteers are needed for a fun and elevating project! Simone Elliot, an Honours year Visual Communication and Media Design student is looking for people of all backgrounds to be the subjects of a gratitude experiment which will be turned into a design as part of her Honours year.

Simone is looking for volunteers to look on the brighter side of life with her for a week (and hopefully longer) by participating in a daily ritual of noting down something they are thankful for every day. It is preferred they do this physically by writing it on a piece of paper and perhaps even sticking it into a jar. Volunteers should take a clear picture of their text saying the thing or things they are thankful for that day and send it to Simone via email or text daily. These things can be accomplished goals, the beauty of nature, funny moments, memories worth saving, daily blessings or just little things you have not thought about being appreciative of before.

Once the week is over the volunteers should empty their jar and re-read their blessings and hopefully feel good about the ordinary (but extraordinary!) week they have had. Simone will then make a visual representation of the little daily thanks and the ‘gratitude jar’. Volunteers will be asked to take part in a short interview about how taking part in the project made them think and feel and whether they see value in expressing gratitude more regularly.

Simone has been taking part in this experiment herself for all of 2014 so far and has experienced the benefit of acknowledging the small things and writing them down. This project has been inspired by feel-good social projects from the likes of Soul Pancake, TED talks and Improv Everywhere videos.

Simone has previously ran her ‘Spread a Smile’ project with a little help from Creative Dundee, where she encouraged volunteers to see the positive attributes that their loved ones viewed in them and made them each a unique visual representation and recorded their reactions. This same project with different volunteers ran during the Curate the Campus exhibition at Abertay University. Each of these projects are about trying to prompt people to see the value of expressing gratitude and acknowledging the positives in yourself in a world that can often more frequently focus on the negatives.

Working with people and having them participate in the projects – and essentially contribute the art which Simone edits – is something she has enjoyed doing in her university projects for the past couple of years.

If you would like to take part in this project, then simply just send your name to this email address: and Simone will be in touch.

Hopefully the concept of the volunteers appreciating the small things will not only be an act that will give an immediate positive effect but will be a technique the volunteers take away with them for whenever they are having a bad day! So get involved and start to see the ‘small things’ as the big things!



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