Several dozen young people were on a mission Saturday and it was pretty straight forward.

They were looking for smiles.

As part of the Youth Volunteer Corps "Happiness Avenue" project, the goal was to make Calgarians crack a smile at a time when many don't feel like it.

"We are here trying to spread cheer and happiness in the Calgary streets," volunteer Melanie Sing explained.

Melanie Sing

Volunteer Melanie Sing explained their goal was simple. To make people smile. (CBC)

She says, while the group is always full of smiles, it never hurts to share.

"It always helps to have more, especially since there might be people suffering through economic situations."

Signs, chants and smiles greeted people on Stephen Avenue Mall.

The organizers, Youth Volunteer Corps, is a group based in the U.S. with a presence in other communities including Calgary.

"Our youth are making such an impact throughout the year," the Calgary executive director Penny Hume said.

"Last year the Calgary Youth Volunteer Corps gave 37,000 volunteer hours to the community."

Happiness Avenue

Signs, chants and smiles greeted those on Stephen Avenue Mall Saturday afternoon. (CBC)

Sing said the response has been great.

"There are a lot of smiles and waves. I have a sign that says, 'I like your smile' and there has been a lot of response saying, 'I like your smile too,'" she said.

"And a lot of honks."