Happiness Happens Group Goes National



A couple months ago, I wrote a piece for the Memphis Flyer about a group of grannies who call their joint effort to reach out to strangers "Happiness Happens."

The women, who range in age from 50 to 70, regularly choose random people to help with utilities and car payments. Sometimes they pass along succulent lemon cakes (they really are succulent -- I've tasted one) to people in the hospital, and sometimes they donate needed items to women's shelters or fill empty pantries. And they are not, as I originally was told, a nonprofit group. They're more like an extremely secretive cadre of anonymous philanthropists.

Whatever their random acts of kindness, this circle of "Nanas" has been acting as fairy godmothers for about 34 years. Most beneficiaries of their kindness have no idea how they were found, but are pleasantly surprised that total strangers care enough to come to their aid. Read more here: www.memphisflyer.com/memphis/random-acts-of-happiness/Content?oid=2648056.

At any rate, it appears the Nanas are taking their act on the road. During August, which a news release says is Happiness Happens Month, the ladies are going national. For 31 days, they're planning to commit their random acts of kindness in all 50 states with help from friendly media outlets.

Some days will have themes, such as "It's a Man's World" and "Treat Her Like a Lady." The rest of the time, they'll be giving away tickets to sporting events, spa and restaurant gift cards, and baked goods.

We sincerely hope the Nanas' prize closet isn't completely exhausted by the time September rolls around. But even if it is, I've got a hunch it won't stay that way for long.

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"901" is the current affairs blog compiled by the staff of Memphis magazine, where readers can find breaking-news tidbits relating to all facets of life in the Bluff City. 

Regular participants include long-time Memphis editors such as Marilyn Sadler, Michael Finger, Jackson Baker, Frank Murtaugh, and Kenneth Neill, along with MBQ: Inside Memphis Business staffers Richard Alley and Anna Cox, and dining critic Pamela Denney.

"901" is the place where Memphis readers can "dial in" to find fresh reporting of recent developments in our city's political, economic, and cultural life.

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