PAOLI, Pa. -- During these challenging and often divisive times, Megan Forgie is sending out a simple message that should stick with everyone.
"I appreciate you," she said.
Those three words have defined the last two years of her life. It started when a co-worker spoke the same phrase to her.
"I paused because I was waiting for the why," she said. But her friend had no special reason looming behind the random compliment.
"I burst into tears because I thought it was the kindest thing anybody has ever said to me," Forgie said.
Since then, she has been on a mission to make the world share in that same bliss.
Forgie began to mass produce stickers that read, "I appreciate you." The backdrops were influenced by the beauty of her surroundings, whether it be a cardinal on her bird feeder or a sunflower she photographed with her father.
She has donated countless stickers to local firefighters, policemen, waste collectors, teachers, and more. By word of mouth, she has identified recipients in 44 states across America, along with mailing stickers to several countries such as Canada, Switzerland, and South Africa.
This sparked a cycle of kindness from which she receives thank you cards, monetary donations, and lasting friendships on the internet.
Forgie derives her passion from being both a mother and a personal trainer.
"I go from teaching them to sweat and be healthy that way, working out nutrition-wise, but there is this part of mental health that has to come into it. It's a full package," she said.
Forgie is passionate about raising her children, Jack, 18, and Christopher 15, to treat others with kindness. She was surprised to learn that they and their friends enjoyed her stickers enough to wear them like badges of honor around school.
While she has no end goal in sight for her mission, Forgie takes life day by day, learning to appreciate herself the way she appreciates others.
She continues to see her stickers "as a pick-me-up just to make somebody feel good. We need it right now in this world," she said.
Forgie was inspired by the "You are Beautiful" project based out of Chicago, with which she partnered to install a standing billboard outside of the Upper Main Line YMCA. The simple sign reading, "You are Beautiful," is Pennsylvania's contribution to their goal of erecting signs in every state in the United States.
To learn more about the project or to inquire about sending or receiving "I Appreciate You" stickers, visit the Facebook page.