Peter Lundgren - President/Eastern U.S. Regional Director


“The Bucketfiller presentations have presented the Leonard Elementary School students with a life-altering experience. Our students were excited to learn how to express their inner thoughts with others. They are ready to share their positive thoughts with the world around them as dedicated ‘Bucketfillers’.”

Jerry Cottone, Principal
Leonard Elementary School
Troy, MI

“…the Bucketfillers program serves as the springboard for our bullying and positive reinforcement programs for our children. The staff, students and parents love the concept and actively practice bucketfilling…”

Phillip Seasock, Principal
Lindemann Elementary School
Allen Park, MI



“Trinity Lutheran School recently underwent a transformation. In my 24 years of education, this in-service activity with the children has been most gratifying. It was incredible to read and witness the emotional and joy-filled responses from one of the exercises that were returned by our students’ loved ones. I am indeed grateful, as are my staff and school families. Our hope is that Trinity Lutheran School will practice bucketfilling always.”

Thomas W. Wrege, Principal
Trinity Lutheran School, Utica, MI

“This is our 3rd consecutive year with the Bucketfillers For Life program. Follow-up is crucial to make sure the message is reinforced. There is great value in BFL’s Maintenance Program, and it enables my staff to carry the message forward in between visits much more effectively.

Bill Cain, Principal
Village Elementary School, Hartland, MI

Our bucketfilling assemblies and workshops have been some of the most impressionistic initiatives we have undertaken! Our students have learned how to articulate and share their feelings with others using positive communication, they know how they can make a difference in someone’s life every day with their words or actions, and they have openly shared what they’ve learned with their families and loved ones! We have received touching compliments and letters of thanks from parents about the “amazing conversations that occurred between their children following these assemblies”. Coupled with a positive school-wide behavior plan that we implemented last year, Bucketfilling has now become part of our school culture. We will continue to host workshops each year to maintain this positive energy in our school community.

LouAnne Pisha, Principal
Crissman Elementary School, Shelby Township, MI

“What a wonderful and heart filled program. The Bucketfillers For Life program is such an easy program to implement, but it’s impact in just these two days has been phenomenal. This program applies to all grades. Kindergarten through eighth grade. Through role playing, our students learned the difference between being a bucket-filler and a bucket-dipper. When it came time for the students to share their “Why I Love and Respect You” sheets, they were very nervous at first. At every session there was at least one student who cried. One of the most touching stories was from a 3rd grader who just lost his Grandmother and as he read his paper, another student put his arm around him for support.

Our Goal is not just to be a “Bucketfilling School”, but for all of our families to become “Bucketfilling Families.” I was so touched at the parent assembly. Some of our parents shared their “Why I Love and Respect You” sheets at the assembly and after the sharing was finished, there was not a dry eye in the audience. So many parents thanked me on the way out for hosting this program and how glad they were that they took time out of their evening to attend. Thank you Bucketfillers For Life!

Kathleen Vafadari, Principal
Immaculate Heart of Mary School, Grand Rapids, MI


“The entire Farms Intermediate School is now a “Bucket Filling” school.  Our teachers, students, and staff live your message.  Farms Intermediate School has created a safe, friendly, respectful environment, and your message reinforces and builds on our expectations.  Your message has made the students more aware of his/her actions.  Children are wonderful little human beings.  Generally, they want to do what is right, but they must be taught what is right.  I thank you for taking the time to teach them.”

Bonnie Meadows, Assistant Principal
Farms Intermediate School, Hartland, MI

“Thank you for bringing the bucket filling philosophy to our school.  By presenting to our staff, and then to our fourth grade students, I believe we have started something very special here. Throughout the building, I constantly hear discussion among staff, students, and parents about bucket-filling and bucket-dipping.  I can’t wait to see what new creative ideas are developed next school year around this very positive theme.  One of my second-grade teachers indicated to me:  This a wonderful peace-building, tolerance teaching, self-esteem enhancing concept.  Thank you for sharing your heart-warming philosophy with all of us. We look forward to working with you again next year.”

Lindsay Smither, Principal
Lakes Elementary School, Hartland, MI




“I have been in the classroom for over 30 years. Never had I seen a more profound and dramatic turnaround of emotions. Students who are typically brazen and self-absorbed became, for a moment, beyond themselves, showing real empathy for others. I saw a lot of tears.”

Kerry Carlini, 5th grade teacher
Lindemann Elementary School, Allen Park, MI



“It’s a wonderful program for the kids to do.  The Bucket-Filling experience has really played an important role and impacted the atmosphere in my classroom in such a positive way!  I overhear students on a daily basis trying to fill one another’s buckets.  It’s nice to hear and see!”

Richard Parker, 5th Grade Teacher
Farms Intermediate School, Hartland, MI



“Thank you for filling our hearts and minds with such positive information.  I am using it in my everyday life.”

Lisa, Elementary School Teacher

“Thank you so much for sharing your heart with our students.  I hope we can measure up to your expectations.  It is so important for our students to have and share good thoughts.”

Tom, Middle School Teacher

“You taught me a lot about courtesy and friendship.  You made me feel better about myself.”


“Thank you for telling us about bucket filling and teaching us good ways to make our parents and friends feel wonderful.


“You made the best change in our class as well as our school. Everyone in our class is kinder to each other.  Also, our daily bucket filling activity has made our class closer.”


“You showed us how nice it is to fill people's buckets instead of dipping out of them. You showed us how caring, respect and friendship is good.  You also showed us how important it is to live your life good, cause we have a lot of our dash left.”


“Without you, I don’t think I ever would have told everyone about my dad’s death.  That’s because you showed me what true courage was about.  Thanks.  I know I’ll have a good dash with good friends and a loving family.”


“Thank you so much for coming in.  Since I read my letter to my dad he knows that I love spending time with him.  We’ve been doing a lot of stuff together.”


“You showed me things that I didn’t see before. Three things that I will do to keep this going are write a letter to everyone in my family, try to be nicer and not yell as much.  Thank you for helping me understand things I never understood before.”


“Thank you for teaching me how to fill people’s buckets.  I am a bucket filler all the time now.  My mom was so happy that she cried when I read her my letter.”


“I didn’t realize how much my sister and parents did for me before I thought about it!  Now I learned that I can always fill buckets, not empty them!  I’m going to live my dash to the fullest.”


“Our school is better now that you have showed us how bad it is to be a bucket dipper.  I’m glad you started this program.”


“Thank you for filling up my bucket.  I called my pastor and told him all that he has done for me.  He started to cry over the phone so it was a day we filled buckets and actually had fun with it.”


“Everything you said meant a lot to me.  You really made my mom and I have a closer relationship.”


“You showed me how much I love my dad. Thanks to you, I’m a bucket filler, not a dipper.”


“It changed my whole day.  I’m really happy you came.”


“My mom was so happy about the things I said about her and it was because of you.  I learned how to tell my feelings to others.  I think it has helped because since you visited there hasn’t been a lot of dipping, just filling.”


“I think what you said will come across my mind when I’m about to talk.  I’ll think:  Is this going to be a bucket dipper or a bucket filler?  You really made me think about how I act and how that affects people.”


“You helped me feel good about myself. You helped me express my feelings to my mom.”


“You made me think about how it feels to get your bucket dipped in.  Now I don’t think I will ever dip in anyone’s bucket.  I’ll only try to fill other people's buckets as much as I can.”


“My mom enjoyed my paper so much!  When she was reading it, it really made me feel happy just like it did to her.”


“Lately, I have been trying to fill as many buckets as possible, just because I heard your presentation.”


“When I told my dad all that I had written in my bucket-filling paper, he loved it.  I also felt great because I rarely explain to my parents the reason why I love them.”


“I loved your presentation on filling buckets.  I feel much better.  I gave the letter to my dad and he appreciated how much I care.  He loves when I tell him how much I appreciate him.”


“You taught me how to live my “dash” to the fullest.  The assignment was very special and I know it filled my dad with love.  You really taught me a valuable lesson.”


“Thank you for helping us learn about caring about others.  It taught me a lot. When I got home I told my mom all about you and she thought that it was wonderful.  She really loved what I wrote about her.”


“I realize that small gestures can make a difference in this world.  I felt happy to finally let my feelings out to my friends.” Emily

“Thank you for helping us understand how to make a person’s day better.  You have a very good method of teaching.  I now understand that just one thing you say can either help or hurt someone.  I try to fill anyone’s bucket whenever I have a chance.”


“You helped me learn how to be a better person.  Your bucket filling has helped me at home, at school, and anywhere.” Rachel

“Some of us really needed bucket filling.  I think we all did.  Thank you for changing the way we think about treating others more kind.”


“I’ve never seen my dad as touched and as moved as he was!”


“I learned that people are different and that’s okay.  I also learned that it's okay to share your feelings with people you care about.”


“I’m glad that you are doing your presentations because it touches a lot of people.”


“I learned how to be a better person.  I love filling buckets now and try to make others days pleasant.”


“You helped me realize how to put myself in other’s shoes.  Plus my dad really liked the things that I put down on the paper about him.”


“Since your presentation, our class has been getting along even better than usual.  Thanks for coming to our school and making our class just that much better.”


“You filled my bucket greatly.  You taught me how to be nice and loving.  You have made a big difference in my life and by doing that, I also hope to make big differences in people’s lives.”


“My mom loved the nice things I had to say about her.  We have grown much closer.”


“Everyone has changed their attitude to 100% bucket fillers.”


“Now everyone at school is nice to one another.”


“My mom cried when I read my list to her.  After I made a list, she made one for my dad.”


“You really changed the way I judge people.”


“You really touched me.  My mom liked it a lot too.  I am going to keep filling up buckets because it makes me feel good about myself and others.  You really changed my life.  Now I can help change some other people’s lives.”


“Your class really inspired me. It really made me think why I love my dad.”


“Thank you for coming in and talking to our class.  It was a life changing experience for me and my family.”


“You really supported me and all of us!!  Thank you for letting us have this great experience to change people's lives.”


“I enjoyed your speaking.  It really made me think about the things that really count in life.”


“You made me look at life different than I did before.”


“I really appreciate your coming to inspire me and other people to become better people.”


“Thanks for teaching us to be thankful for what we have and also being polite.  I love the assignment about writing what we love about someone.  I wrote about my mom.  It made her cry.”


“You made me realize how much you can do for someone just by complimenting them.  I think everyone should get a lesson on bucket filling.”


“Thanks for sharing yesterday. Danny enjoyed it and I got my bucket filled. He was so sweet and the things he said made me want to cry. Very encouraging.”

Dawn Schlachter, parent
Portersville Christian School, Evans City, PA

“How can I describe how my heart soared as my son read his paper.”

Tammy, a mom

“It made me feel very proud.  It put a big smile on my face and warmed my heart.”

Dave, a dad

“I was filled with great emotion.  It touched me deeply.  My daughter said things I never knew.“

Sharon, a mom

“What a great concept!  It is wonderful to hear your daughter read her thoughts while I have tears of joy streaming down my cheeks.“

Yvonne, a mom

“This has made me realize that words are very powerful.  Making people feel good can increase someone’s self-confidence.  I will definitely expand the bucket filling experiences within my family!”

Dave, a dad

“This was a valuable lesson and a great one that the school provided.  Not only does this teach the children; it reminds the adult what they forgot.”

Debbie, a mom

“Who is this person and what happened to my son??  My bucket overflowed!”

Nicholas’s Dad

“It’s amazing what kind words can do to a person.”

Lori, a mom

“It was wonderful to hear those things spilling from my daughter's heart filling my bucket.”

A parent

“This experience made my life.  It was truly from the heart.”

Martin, a dad

“I had to fight back the tears.  It felt so good.  I felt so loved. This was the most beautiful paper my son has ever written to me.”

Christine, a mom

“This was the most incredible thing my son has ever done for me.  He doesn’t often express his feelings.  This meant more to me than any words can say.”

Diane, a mom

“I never realized what doing such a little thing as filling a bucket would do for my son and myself.  Thanks to the person who shared this great idea with us.”

Michelle, a mom

“My bucket overfloweth. How wonderful it feels to be loved.  We will certainly be more aware of using our actions and words in a positive way.  How often we forget to be bucket fillers.”

Deb, a mom

“I was having a horrible day and my son read this to me out loud. I felt that all my issues washed away.” Victoria, a mom

It's a pretty neat way of thinking!”

Ellen, a mom

“It meant a lot to know that my daughter understands how her life effects other people.”

Gary, a dad

“When my son filled my bucket it gave me great joy and pride and even brought a little tear to my eye.”

Brenda, a mom

“The bucket project looks like a good way to spread encouragement throughout the family.”

Curt, a dad

“I was so excited with all the compliments, I went to bed feeling great.”

Kimberly, a mom

“Filling my bucket was rewarding, loving and fun.”

Brent, a dad

“This experience was wonderful. It made me cry.  My son (and probably most people) struggle with verbalizing their emotions and appreciation for others.”

Laura, a mom

“My 6th grader came home today and wrote the most beautiful examples of why he loves and respects his little brother. I’m not sure what kind of event you had at school today, January 28, 2009, but this truly is the most amazing experience we had at home in a long time. I just wanted to take a moment to say that it was great. My boys fight like siblings do, some days more than others. Today (my son) wrote about (his brother). (His brother) listened with tears in his eyes, sensitive to the fact that his big brother really does love him. I have to say that this is one of the most memorable events experienced at Crissman. Totally awesome! Thanks.”

A Grateful Parent

“The bucket filling concept is a valuable tool for our drivers when dealing with students and parents alike!  I can’t begin to tell you the number of times per week that I witness “tactics for life” that you shared in your 2-hour workshop with my drivers.  Thank you for presenting and we were glad to be able to recommend you to the entire county wide school system this past fall.  Keep up the great work!”

Mike Peterson
Director of Operations
Howell, MI Public Schools

“Since our Bucketfilling workshop our drivers are really aware of what they are saying to each other.  We had a fight on a bus this morning and two drivers radioed the driver of that bus and told her what a good job she did.  We will keep referring back to bucketfilling every day.  It has made a difference in my life.  I have had several drivers come and tell me how great the meeting was.  One of the drivers told his wife that it was the best in-service we have ever had. I can’t thank you enough.”

Rhonda Sosnowski
Transportation Director
Waverly Community Schools, Lansing, Michigan

“This was the best in-service program we have ever had. It was so meaningful.  I will have Bucketfillers For Life return next year to follow up on the program content with my staff.”

Betty Martin
Transportation Director
Brandon School District, Ortonville, Michigan


“Bucketfillers For Life presented the Keynote address for the 6th Annual Early Childhood Administrators Conference. It was the most moving presentation that we have participated in for years. Our emotions journeyed from tears to smiles for those we love – to words of kindness to those we serve. It was simply joyful! We are all better Early Childhood Administrators for having participated in this wonderful training.”

Drema Raupp
Executive Director
Children’s Resource Network Center, New Boston, MI

“I’m writing on behalf of the membership of the Michigan Paralyzed Veterans of America (MPVA) to thank you and your daughter Stacey for your inspirational presentation at our August 23rd membership meeting where you showed that “every action has a consequence.” If you’re judging the success of the presentation by the reaction of the people attending, then you definitely “hit a homerun.” Most people struggle to verbalize their emotions and appreciation for others. The program that you have developed is structured in a way that allows people to freely express their feelings without feeling threatened. Once again, thank you for a job well done!”

Michael F. Harris, Executive Director – Michigan Paralyzed Veterans of America (MPVA)

“This two-hour presentation genuinely touched our firm’s agents and staff.   The feedback was nothing short of phenomenal.  I have received notes, voice-mail messages, and personal comments giving me specific examples of how some of our people immediately applied his principles and techniques.  As an example, one staff member told me that she and her sister had been estranged for several years.  Merrill struck a chord with that staff member and she immediately contacted her sister, “filled her bucket,” and a healing was realized that would bring tears to your eyes.”

Rick Smith, Broker/Owner
Keller Williams Realty, Brighton Market Center

“I didn’t hear but bits and pieces of the seminar you put on for the female inmates at Camp Brighton.  The inmates crowded around me as they left the gym telling me how much they loved your presentation.  Currently, there are about 50 more who signed up to attend.   Whatever you said to those inmates had a profound, positive effect.  Hope to see you again in the future.”

Officer Robert C. Gamble
Camp Brighton Correctional Facility

“This is a well thought out program that has great value to individuals young and old, businesses and nonprofits.  Our team really appreciated how Merrill illuminated areas that we had the ability to improve in our relationships, teamwork and trust.  He also gave us specific tools to help us accomplish  positive change in those areas.  Remember, life is not a dress rehearsal.  If you do it right, once is enough.”

Mike and Jane McManus
Micro Works Computing, Inc., Brighton, MI


“This workshop is not one of the typical ‘motivation pep talks’  that charges up individual through a speech relying on a delivery characterized by its quick pace and high decibel level.  Instead it is a dialogue or conversational style giving rise to quiet introspection, the seed of change and personal growth.  It was clearly recognizable that the participants were positively affected by their involvement in this workshop. You could feel it in the dialogue and you could see it on peoples faces.  Participants were given a new (and logical) way of looking at themselves objectively (rather than blaming others or circumstances in general), of reviewing how we all fail to be in control of our allocation of time, and how relationship at home and at work can be improved.  Simply stated, this is a program of real content and value and that is something that is very rare indeed.”

Roger J. Bergh, J.D. , Human Resources Manager
Helen Newberry Joy Hospital

“Just in a matter of days after your presentation, several of our managers completed in-services within their individual departments based on your training and also have included “bucket filling” as part of their regular monthly meetings.  What is even more phenomenal about this occurrence, is that several of the managers are those who have struggled in previous years in motivating their staff and have been looking for some way to “turn the corner.”  Without question your presentation had such an impact that it has resulted in a new and positive way of motivating our employees.”

Sam Daugherty, CEO
Mecosta County General Hospital, Big Rapids, MI

“I would recommend this workshop to anyone, whether it be in education or in the business world, that wants to improve their quality of life and relieve stress in their everyday situation, whether at home or on the job.”

PC, School Superintendent

“You hit a homerun with our people.”

JH, Michigan Municipal League

“It was amazing to witness the captivating effect you had on over one-thousand of our Customer Service Professionals.  Your presentation was the highest-rated session by both the facilitators and participants.”

PVC, Insurance Marketing Manager

“There is no greater “gift” we can offer our employees than an opportunity to improve the quality of one’s life.  Thank you.”

BLS, City Manager

“We appreciate the impact you have had on our lives and highly recommend this presentation to any company with more than one employee!”

BH, Medical Care Facility Administrator

“I am back at my desk, but, I feel as a much better person for attending your seminar.  What good basic seeds of thought you planted.”

NLH, Police Department Administrator