About the Inspiration Jar

learn how it all started

christmas tree
Merry Birthday!

For my 16th birthday (which also happens to be Christmas), my family decided to do a white elephant gift exchange. Scanning my room for gift ideas, I found a plastic jar and recalled a classic Taiwanese present: a jar filled with origami stars, each representing a wish. With no origami paper around, however, I took some index cards, sliced them into six pieces each, and began scribbling words of encouragement. When the gift exchange began, my dad unsealed my gift to reveal a jar wrapped in orange paper, labeled on the side in permanent marker: Inspiration Pills™. After unraveling a pill and deciphering my sloppy handwriting, my dad embraced me.

covid mask
Isolation and Covid

Soon after, COVID hit. After months of quarantine, many of my classmates were struggling. Thinking back to my dad's smile as he received my gift, I spent the next couple months learning fullstack web development, recreating the idea of Inspiration Pills™ in the form of a social media website. Within hours after launching the site, multiple users had registered and submitted messages: “You’re awesome!”, “Your friends don't know how lucky they are to have you!”, “You look great today!” One afternoon, a classmate from English class texted me that after a rough week of online school, reading those messages made her day. I realized that we were never alone in our battle with isolation.

sprouting plant

My hope is that we can recreate this act of giving and magnify it with the power of the web. Not only do the visitors feel heartwarmed by everyone's encouraging messages, but the authors of those messages also feel happier knowing that they made someone smile. Hopefully, we can propogate this cycle of encouragement and make the world a little more motivated and inspired!