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The Man On A Mission To Share Gratitude

Words by Smiley Team

Today, World Gratitude Day, sees the launch of a unique platform designed to bring humanity together in gratitude at a time of crisis.

Gratitude is the first dedicated platform that provides an inclusive space for anyone, from anywhere, to express their gratitude in a matter of seconds.

Founded in Tortosa, Spain by Don Amal Francis, the project was borne out of as a circumstantial response to the COVID19 pandemic in 2020. Don was inspired by the enormous sacrifices being made by the front-line healthcare workers and imagined if there was a way for all the world to show their gratitude in solidarity.

There is no registration or sign-in required; individuals can quickly and seamlessly send specific and impactful messages, track the impact of that message, and get meaningful feedback on the reach and impact their message had on the global community

Founded Don chatted to us a little about the creation of Share Gratitude

Tell us a little bit about how Share Gratitude got started

"I travelled to Spain with my family early March 2020, only to quickly get caught up in the epicentre of the European COVID-19 outbreak at the time. I went from sipping cava to complete isolation in a small hotel room with my wife Samaya, 13yr old son Cros and 4yr old daughter Tayla Rose for over 100 days.

"It was scary and challenging not knowing the local language or where to turn to for help while thousands of people were dying each day, and second guessing what we should do or should not do in different hypothetical scenarios.

"One evening Samaya asked me what I would do if I was a health care worker. Would I still go to work? Initially, my response was quick, ‘yes I would’. It's the natural thing we would all say, hoping that we believe it but also knowing that many of us won't ever have to face that decision in reality. I realised pretty quickly, and with great humility, that in fact I actually would not. I had to accept that I am not as good as these amazing people who selflessly care for the sick, not even knowing what or how to treat the virus and how much danger the were putting themselves in. Moreover, caring for people even when their own colleagues were dying due to the virus.

"These people are made of something different to me! Admittedly it was hard for me to process this, as it questioned the very core of who I thought I was…’a good person’. It led me to a dark, depressive place, until Samaya reminded me that while we are not as good as these amazing people, we are capable in own way - and we swung to action."

So that inspired the change. What were your first steps?

"My first thought was to round up my network and raise funds to help the health care workers who had lost so much. I realised, however, that there are many great initiatives that already do this so well and that another charity is not necessarily needed.

"So I turned to how I could support the charitable initiatives in a different way. It was through discussing this with a mate that Share Gratitude was born. He said he thought it must be awful being in Spain during this tough time…and my immediate thought was ‘No! It's not awful. I am grateful!’

What was it that you were your grateful for?

"I was grateful that we were safe and healthy, grateful that the hotel staff stayed on to look after us, grateful that if we were to get sick there were amazing people at the hospital to care for us…I was even grateful that my children were going through this hardship as it provided a level of grounding that they wouldn't have experienced otherwise."

Did working on Share Gratitude help you cope during the pandemic?

"Finding the inspiration for Share Gratitude provided a sort of 'call to action', which helped me and the family cope through the challenges. My days were full of conversations with people about what we can do… but it was hard to capture the essence of what I imagined Share Gratitude to be.

How did being in Spain during lockdown impact the creation of Share Gratitude?

"Like in many parts of the world at the time, we would all stand at the window each day at 8pm and clap for all the frontline workers…and I thought, imagine if there was a way to hold on to this gesture of gratitude. Imagine if there could be a way for all languages, all cultures, all backgrounds to show gratitude in solidarity?

"So there in Tortosa, Spain, the Francis family officially started Share Gratitude as a personal circumstantial response to the COVID19 pandemic, inspired by the enormous sacrifices being made by the front-line healthcare workers."

What's your vision for the site?

"My vision is that this Share Gratitude is not only embraced by the community, but embraced by these amazing frontline and essential workers as their own. Share Gratitude will be the place that we all connect with each other in a positive and relevant manner - reminding us every day that we have a lot to be thankful for.

"And our mantra? 'Everything in moderation except Gratitude'"

How can people support Gratitude?

"Everyone is welcome on Gratitude! All someone needs to do to get involved is log on to and make a post. There are filters and tags to use in your message so that it has the highest chance of reaching the recipient. All up, it only takes seconds to share a message of thanks!

"We also encourage charities to register - we will then get in touch to connect them to the system. Local businesses can also register and tell us how the community can show their support.

"Corporations who want to get involved and help us keep the momentum high are welcome to contact me to discuss partnership options."

This article aligns with the following UN SDGs