Give a Hippo . . . Share a Smile!

Do you know someone who’s living with a life-challenging illness?

Let’s lift their spirits by sending them a Healing Hippo. Simply send us an email and we’ll send a Healing Hippo, “Buttercup” to the person in need.

Who can arrange for a Healing Hippo?

If you are family, friend, medical personnel or social worker, you can arrange to have a Healing Hippo delivered.


To be eligible to receive a Healing Hippo you must meet the following criteria:

  • The recipient has a life-threatening medical condition.
  • The recipient has not already received a Healing Hippo.
  • The person submitting the request must include in the email the reason why a Healing Hippo would be helpful to the recipient.

Hippo Outreach

Healing with Smiles believes that smiles and laughter should be shared. It binds people together, increases happiness and creates hope.

To help us promote smiles, we created a mascot named Buttercup. Buttercup, our Healing Hippo, is a 12 inch plush hippopotamus that is packaged with an inspirational message. We have found that presenting Buttercup creates an instant smile.

We set up programs with Hospitals and Senior Centres where batches of our Healing Hippos are delivered to a coordinator who arranges with the nursing and volunteer staff to distribute them to patients.

Buttercup inspires courage and hope in people of all ages and provides a much needed distraction to medial tests or procedures for the patient and enables medical personnel to focus on the task at hand.

Hippo Day Trippin’

The folks at Healing with Smiles love day trips. We visit Seniors’ Residences with our life-sized Buttercup who dances her way into the hearts of everyone she meets. Buttercup loves to put on her pink dancing shoes and flowered party dress for the excursion.

We love to see frowns turned upside down into smiles and eyes crinkle at the corners.

And as Buttercup moves through the halls, she leaves each resident with their very own Healing Hippo, ready for the next time they need a pick-me-up and a smile.


Community Parades are one of our favourite group activities. It’s amazing to see all the smiles and screams of joy when the hippo-mobile drives by the crowds that line the streets for Canada Day, Fall Fairs and Santa Clause parades. We love dressing up for these events too! We’ve met lots of great people along the way.

Be Nice Campaign

One of our newest programs is the Be Nice Campaign. Buttercup and Bernie what to help stop bullying by promoting ways to be Nice. We can do this through random acts of kindness, paying a good deed forward to those in need, showing appreciation and gratitude. The act of sharing a smile is in fact a random act of kindness. We believe that by having a positive attitude, balanced with a whole-body wellness approach, can improve our overall quality of life: mind, body and spirit.

Help spread the word by purchasing a Be Nice T-Shirt.  50% of  the proceeds of the sale of the T-Shirt helps support Healing with Smiles.