Satchel Ford Carpool Safety Patrol

The Thank You Project


The Thank You Project



Dear Satchel Ford Carpool Safety Patrol,

In our house, mornings are busy. Sometimes we oversleep. Sometimes we don’t eat a good breakfast. Sometimes we drag our heels because we wish the day started later. Many days we start on the right side of the bed, but somehow end up on the wrong side.

Then we get in the carpool line. We crawl our way up ever so slowly to the school drive. We wait if Mr. Stillwell says wait, and finally make it to the school. Then it happens. One of you opens the backseat door and cheerfully says, “Good morning!”

Did you know those words can turn someone’s day around? There have been a few days when one of you has reminded me that it is, in fact, a very good morning.

Seconds later, as I prepare to pull away from school with my spirits a little brighter, you leave me with a parting thought as you close the car door: “Have a nice day!”

I can’t even begin to tell you how important those kindnesses are in today’s world. Even if you think no one notices, someone usually does. They may not say much or even anything about something you might have said or done in the moment but your kindness will stick with them. Maybe now they’re smiling instead of scowling. Maybe they’ll be nicer to the next person they see. Maybe their bad morning has already become the best day ever.

You may never know what happens after someone pulls away from the curb, but know kindness leaves an impression. Sometimes the impression is tiny but other times it’s very deep. Your greetings and good byes make people laugh, smile, feel happier and appreciate their day a little more than they might have minutes ago.

Thank you for the many mornings you’ve brightened for me.


Julie Turner

The Thank You Project is a yearlong Wordsmith letter writing and blog project. I’m recognizing and thanking people who enrich my life and make my community an even better place to live. 


The Thank You Project

The Thank You Project



Dear Five Guys Burgers and Fries—Vista,

I just enjoyed a great lunch at your restaurant. Of course, the food was good. It is always good!

Today, though, one of the best parts of my lunch was meeting the great employee who took my lunch order. Phillip was so funny and so nice I couldn’t help but feel uplifted as I waited for my food.

For the minute or so we chatted about my order, he was so delightfully engaging and funny I knew at once I would send you a letter about him. He was so full of personality I couldn’t help but talk to him again when I saw him at the back of the restaurant. I noticed he was equally kind to my lunch partner as well.

Employees like Phillip are an exception. I took time to thank him in person for being so kind today and he was very humble and thankful.

I want you to know how much I appreciate him, as well.

You should be very proud to have an employee like Phillip behind the counter. He makes your customers’ experience so much more than an everyday lunch.

My experience with him made my afternoon brighter.



Julie Turner

The Thank You Project is a yearlong Wordsmith letter writing and blog project. I’m recognizing and thanking people who enrich my life and make my community an even better place to live. 

It’s Fair Haiku Season

A few years ago — okay, it’s been way longer than that — some coworkers and I started composing fair haikus to pay homage to the delights of the South Carolina State Fair. Now you can, too. Writing a haiku is a snap. Three lines. First line five syllables. Second line seven syllables. Third line five syllables.


Blogging for others.

You can’t really tell by looking at my own blog, but there’s been a lot of guest blogging on The Internets these past few weeks.

Much of the action centered around my involvement with CreateAthon, the marathon pro-bono effort launched by Riggs Partners. Our friends at Emulsion Arts created an incredible video that captured the day and night which you can enjoy and share here. CreateAthon is an amazing, fulfilling annual experience I am so proud to be a part of. It’s one day of my life that richly rewards the other 364 days. If you’d like to start a CreateAthon in your area, you can get started here.

Another guest blog post for Talk About Giving started a littler closer to home. My husband and I were struggling with our sons’ upcoming birthdays. How could we channel the much appreciated, generous gifts into a truly useful gift for a child-focused organization? It turned out to be easier than we thought and was a great learning experience for all of us. You can learn about our experience here.Collected on behalf of Palmetto Health's Children's Hospital

Thanks for reading and staying in touch!

CreateAthon 2011

Today I am in the WECO with 33 other creative professionals who are all working on behalf of CreateAthon, the marathon pro-bono effort created by Riggs Partners 14 years ago. What’s more, there are national partners scattered all across the US who are doing exactly what we are doing in their own communities.

Creative team at work at Riggs Partners CreateAthon

I am struck by the tasks that lie waiting and the sheer volume of work and ideation that will be come to life today. Even us seasoned volunteers will admit to being afraid. But there’s no time for fear. We face a long day and night.

It’s not so much that there’s work to be done, there’s so much good to be done.

I am lucky to be a part of this. Please follow along on our adventure on Facebook, Twitter and on the CreateAthon blog.

A sharable moment.

I was in the grocery store the other day when something that caught my eye. My oldest son had found a kid-sized display at Piggly Wiggly where a child could put his face in and “be” the pig. At the bottom, they suggested you take a photo and share it on Facebook. In other words, they created a sharable moment within the everyday confines of a trip to the grocery store. Pretty smart.

What a smart thing to think about when planning an event or even an annual marketing calendar. What can you do to create sharable moments for your customers or guests?

The Terrapins won twice.

Pretty sure I have the first ever college football tag on the Riggs Partners R Blog today. Talking about the one-two punch of the weekend. Maryland beating up on the ‘Canes and then setting the college football world on fire with their spiffy new uniforms. Read all about it, here!

“Handwrite” for more meaningful digital interactions.

When I came back from SocialCrush I had a letter on my desk from Lisa Gergely of Emulsion Arts. The address on the envelope was handwritten and inside was a handwritten note card thanking me for having lunch with her last week. It’s a tangible reminder of a company I enjoy working with. It punctuates the fact that they are talented people who care about their craft and their customers.

It’s ironic that I have just come back from a fantastic, two-day onslaught of social media training and education only to blog about a handwritten letter. But this is what all that social hub-bub is all about. Relationships and meaningful interaction.

Many scoff at social media saying it’s a way to avoid contact and conversation. And they will continue to say just that. My mindset is different. For me, social media is another door to get to know more people and gain exposure to new information and ideas. While at SocialCrush I met people I already “knew” on Twitter: @colacitygirl, @techherding, @egw74, @ryalcurtis, @nicolebcurtis, @RickCaffeinated, @willimac and others. I had many face-to-face conversations that were made possible by Twitter.

Nurturing personal relationships with customers, clients and co-workers is far better for business than starting a Facebook page or a blog. Trust, attention to detail and simple interactions like this letter are the ultimate plug-ins.

Be sure they are part of your business strategy.