Claire Anderson, contributing writer
Growing up, Emily Willie of Wyoming was taught that focusing on others when you’re having a bad day can completely change your attitude and outlook. That is why, when her 8-year-old daughter began struggling with self esteem and comparison, she created the Nice Mice.
“I knew I needed to act fast to come up with a plan to change things for her,” Emily said. “That is when I remembered what my mom had taught me — to be nice to others when I was down. I then ran to my local gift shop to see if I could find something to help. That is when I spotted the cutest little wool mice. They were perfect.”
Emily then wrote a letter to her daughter from the Nice Mice, explaining who they were and the reason for their arrival: to help Emily’s daughter focus on serving others. She was hooked from the start and began to follow the mice’s kind deed prompts.
“It wasn’t long before we could see a positive change in the way she viewed not only others, but most importantly, herself,” Emily said. “It was such a great transformation that I wanted to share my idea with others and hopefully help other children feel good about themselves by changing the world, one nice deed at a time.”
Later, Emily’s brother, Mark Huntsman of Cache Valley, received an anonymous gift for his family containing some little wool mice, handmade good deed cards, and a note explaining the Nice Mice and their purpose. His kids began using the Nice Mice and, once again, they were a hit. Mark was impressed by the concept of the Nice Mice and, after talking to his sister, found out that she had been the one to send the gift.
Together they teamed up and decided to turn the Nice Mice into a business. Now, after several years of designing good deed cards, boxes, and writing a book, Emily and Mark have created an impactful way to help children learn to be kind to themselves by first being kind to others.
“We believe that doing nice things can change the lives of both those who receive kind deeds as well as those who perform them. Our mission is to help children change the world one nice deed at a time. We know that children like to be nice, but sometimes they just need a little direction,” Mark said.
As well as making an impact among families, Emily and Mark hope that the Nice Mice can help children influence others around them as well.
“We hope that the Nice Mice will bring more kindness into the home,” Mark said. “Then that will overflow into schools and communities. This is what the world needs. Many of the issues in our society today come from a lack of kindness.”
Follow the Nice Mice on Instagram or Facebook at @thenicemice, or visit thenicemice.com.