Barrels By Smiley is the brainchild of Shanett Smiley. Every year Shanett Smiley visits primary schools in Jamaica for distribution of school supplies to children who are less fortunate for what Smiley calls "A distribution Center of Love with one smile at a time." However, these school distribution events go far beyond distribution of personalized school bags with school supplies and educational technology tools to students. They involve other forms of immersive engagements like, surprise ice-cream social for all the children. These occasions spontaneously lead to participants sharing their life struggles, challenges, successes, losses, dreams, ambitions, affirmations, goals, aspirations and gratitude. Shanett Smiley visits provides a level of support for students, parents, teachers, and principals to know and understand that they are not in this alone, that there are people who cares about the betterment of the community and the wellbeing and future of the children.
Shanett is quick to remind everyone that benefits from Barrels By Smiley flows in both directions. Everyone benefits from these engagements of love because the Barrels By Smiley, a charity organization, flows in both directions. Everyone benefits from these engagements of love and support because the Barrels By Smiley program is well managed. On one hand, Shanett's financial supporters are motivated and feel appreciated because they are provided with prompt receipts for the smallest of donations and timely ongoing reports about Barrels By Smiley activities.
On the other hand, Shanett will share with her audience at the primary schools, "I don't want you to think that I am rich. It is hard working people like yourself, friends, families, and other supporters who donates to make this possible because they believe in our mission and see that we are making a difference. Even if it’s one dollar we appreciate it very much because every little bit helps.” Shanett also in her short speech before the distribution of the school supplies encourages the children to remember to care for and share with each other. If I give you four or five pencils and you see another student who don’t have, you need to share because we are on this earth to be a blessing to each other, to help and care about each other.”
Shanett radiates excitement to everyone when given opportunities to talk about what she calls "my lifelong mission to give back whenever I can and as much as I can to one child at a time." Shanett was born in Saint Thomas, Jamaica and attended Duckenfield Primary School. Shanett and her family immigrated to Connecticut, attended Hartford high school, graduated from The University of Hartford, and currently resides in Atlanta Georgia.