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Project Smile is federally tax exempt non-profit organization which donates stuffed animals, coloring books/crayons, small toys and children's reading books to police and fire departments for police officers, fire fighters and paramedics to give to children involved in traumatic situations. Project Smile has recently launched the Operation Elder Care program which provides stuffed animals to elderly people who are making the difficult and frequently traumatic transition to life in a nursing home. Established in November 2003, Project Smile was founded by Catherine Pisacane.

"Project Smile was born after I read a newspaper article about three brothers in New Jersey who were starved by their adoptive parents. When the police arrived to remove the brothers from the house, an officer gave one of the children a small stuffed tiger that he had with him. The child clung to it during his entire time at the police station and refused to let it go. After reading about that, I wanted to start a program which would allow as many police officers as possible to have something to give to a hurting child. A stuffed animal may be small, but its significance is huge." - Catherine Pisacane

About Our Founder:

Catherine Pisacane has a B.A. degree in English from Hunter College, (New York), where she graduated Magna Cum Laude in 2001. She is a member of Phi Beta Kappa and was president of the Hunter College Chapter of the Golden Key International Honor Society. She also has a M.A. from Anna Maria College, (Massachusetts) in criminal justice.  

Ms. Pisacane has been recognized by a number of organizations for her work with Project Smile. In 2005, she received the Worcester Business Journal's, "Top 40 Under 40" award. This award highlights "rising stars" in the greater Worcester community. That year she also received Strata Bank's "Out of the Blue" award which recognizes outstanding community service. In 2006, Catherine was featured on the Donna Mac radio show, Vital Women (aired on 96.1 FM, Worcester and 93.3 FM, Providence).  Catherine also received Anna Maria College's "Everyday Heroes" award during a gala celebration at Mechanics Hall, Worcester.  

The Boston Celtics honored Catherine Pisacane as a Hero Among Us during their November 10, 2006 home game. Ms. Pisacane was honored for her initiative to make a difference and for her dedication to helping youth in their time of need. Established in 1997, the Heroes Among Us program honors those individuals who have made an overwhelming impact in the lives of others and lasting contributions to our community. At each home game, the Celtics and their fans have saluted the exemplary efforts of these citizens during a special in-game presentation on the teamís legendary parquet floor.  

Catherine was a 2007 recipient of the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women Unsung Heroine award. This award is given to one woman from each Massachusetts town in recognition of their special work in the community.

In 2008 and 2013, Catherine was a guest speaker at the Massachusetts Youth Leadership Foundation's annual MassSTAR Citizenship Conference. Catherine spoke with approximately 100 high school students about leadership, overcoming obstacles and shared her experiences with Project Smile. Click here to view feedback about Catherine's participation.

In 2013, Pandora at Legacy Place selected Catherine as an "Inspirational Woman". Catherine represented the launch of the new Essence Collection from Pandora.

Catherine is also an active member of the community. She was a member of the Hopedale Planning Board from 2002-2010 and was the first female member. She has also served as chairperson of the Hopedale Personnel Committee and member of the Open Space Committee. Catherine has also done volunteer work for the business program Junior Achievement and volunteered with the CASA program as a Court Appointed Special Advocate for children.

Catherine is the President of the Smiling Stiletto Shoe Club, a social organization for shoe and fashion lovers with 2,700 members in the greater Boston area. The organization meets monthly for cocktail parties, fashion shows and shopping events. Smiling Stiletto helps raise funds and awareness for Project Smile. Visit www.smilingstiletto.com for more info.

PROJECT SMILE - P.O. Box 336 - Hopedale, MA 01747 - (508) 634-0203
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