Photo courtesy of Anna Gallagher Brindley.

“Gratitude is associated with greater happiness. Gratitude helps people feel more positive emotions, relish good experiences, improve their health, deal with adversity, and build strong relationships.”

That’s the message neighbors can read on the Gratitude Outpost sign at Casa Linda Plaza. The black sign stands out, with a red mailbox attached to it.

The message continues with a call to action: “Take a card and write a note of gratitude, address it and drop in the slot. We will do the rest! Don’t have their address? Call them. No time to dial? Snap a photo and text to them. Start sharing your gratitude; it will do your heart and their heart well.”

This sentiment didn’t just pop up in East Dallas. Washington, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser spotted it in the nation’s capital in November. And the Princeton Shopping Center in Princeton, New Jersey, shared it on social media in September.

Gratitude Outposts are scattered across the country because they were installed by retail real estate company EDENS. It’s the firm that owns Casa Linda Plaza and 124 other places in the U.S. About 20 Gratitude Outposts have been installed.

EDENS added the signs to its properties in honor of World Gratitude Day on Sept. 21, 2020. The company has distributed about 30,000 cards so far.

“Our places can serve as the canvas for authentic connection that can be transformational for the soul—places where we are encouraged to convene around a shared sense of gratitude and purpose,” said Jodie McLean, the CEO of EDENS. “Scientific research proves that acknowledging gratitude helps to spark a more positive outlook and encourages a healthier lifestyle. There is endless potential to find happiness in bursts of gratitude, and we hope these boxes are inspiring joy, connection and well-being for our community members.”