PORTLAND -- March is National Optimism month and a Vancouver mom has found an unusual and far-reaching way to promote positive thinking: She convinced Clear Channel to use unsold billboard space for inspirational messages.
“Breathe in love and exhale gratitude,” said Michele McKeag Larsen as she looked at a board near Portland’s Jeld Wen Field.
Over the next few months, as many as 20 billboards will feature cheerful slogans courtesy of the Joy Team, a nonprofit created by the mother of two.
“Positive thought can change the world,” she remarked, “but it’s like Yoga. It takes practice. I haven’t always been this cheerful.”
The Joy Team found sponsors like the Gifford-Pinchot National Forest Task Force to help cover the $100 cost to put a vinyl cover on each board.
“We’re about enjoying the outdoors and being stress-free so this just seemed like a good fit for us,” said task force spokeswoman Jill Campbell.
Passersby appreciate joyful words like “Something wonderful is about to happen” or “Think Positive.”
“It’s awesome,” said Portlander Colin Christiansen, ”I can see one of the billboards from my apartment and it’s a great reminder.”
Convincing doubters that positive thinking can evoke change is a challenge the Vancouver mom enjoys. She believes there’s a simple place to start: “Find something to be thankful for every day. The more you express gratitude the happier you are.”