Carol McCloud was an early childhood educator in the 1990s when she learned of the bucketfilling concept while attending an early childhood conference. As she followed the new research on mental, emotional, and social development that was being uncovered in the orphanages of Romania, she began to understand more clearly the intense need that all children share to have their buckets filled by caring adults.
In 2005, while talking to a teacher, she began to wonder why no one had yet taught this amazing concept to young children and was inspired to write her first book, Have You Filled a Bucket Today? A Guide to Daily Happiness for Kids. Within a month of publication in 2006, teachers from schools around the country were calling her to set up bucketfilling school assemblies and workshops to help them create “bucketfilling schools.”
That first summer after publication, Carol sold her book out of the back of her vehicle at local farmer’s markets. Many parents, grandparents, and teachers discovered “bucket filling.” The book sparked an interest at Hallmark stores. Hallmark put the book in their upcoming Easter catalog, which was distributed to 200 Hallmark stores across the U.S. As a result, the book sold 10,000 copies, beginning a nation-wide bucketfilling movement.
Our Bucket Fillosophy is to help all ages grow in kindness, self-control, resilience and forgiveness, all leading to a happier life. We do this through our publications, presentations, and products, teaching the three rules that lead to greater happiness:
- Be a bucket filler. Be kind.
- Do your best not to dip. Don’t be mean.
- Use your lid. Protect your bucket and the buckets of others.
We are humbled by the incredible following of thousands of teachers, school administrators, counselors, and parents, not to mention the millions of students who are bucket fillers.
We are proud of how far the bucketfilling message has spread! Since 2006, we’ve accomplished some amazing things:
- Our books have sold three million copies worldwide.
- Our books have been translated into ten different languages.
- Our books won 141 awards and thousands of 5-star reviews.
- We’ve given nearly 3,000 presentations to over 1,300 organizations worldwide, teaching the bucketfilling concept to nearly 500,000 people throughout the U.S., Canada, Australia, and China.
Since we began in 2006, we’ve donated a significant portion of each book’s proceeds to non-profits that serve children and families. We wanted to live the truth from our books: When you fill someone else’s bucket, you fill your own. In our first year, we donated $800 in charitable gifts to the local Salvation Army.
By the end of 2018, Bucket Fillers had given over $500,000 in philanthropic donations to charitable organizations worldwide. Over the years, they’ve supported various organizations whose values and missions align with their own: The Salvation Army, Boys & Girls Clubs, Samaritan’s Purse, Methodist Children’s Home Society, Solve Maternity Homes, and many others.
In 2019, Bucket Fillers created a new Bucket Fillanthropy commitment to donate 50% of all proceeds annually to select non-profit organizations that serve children and families. We have a strong commitment to our communities and want to fill the buckets of others around the world by giving back, not only through our fillanthropy commitment, but also through volunteerism and in-kind contributions.