Kindness is something that is preached from students and teachers alike. However, the actions that go along with these preachings can be few and far between. Since the average day for a college student consists of homework, sports, work, clubs, and more homework, the Service Leader Executive Board (SLEB) puts on an annual ‘Random Acts of Kindness Week’ (RAK) as a way to empower students to be kind to one another despite the varying hectic schedules.
The idea for a Random Acts of Kindness week is a comes from a non-profit organization that focuses on empowering not only the youth, but also adults to be kind throughout the entire year. The organization has more than 17,000 RAKtivists and has spread to more than eighty countries according to RandomActsofKindness.org.
“It’s great to see the attitudes change throughout the week,” says Adopt-A-School Chair, Corenna Oeder. “Delivering the blessing bags was my favorite part and also just in general, seeing smiles and kindness spread around kindness is great.”
Throughout the week, SLEB tabled during lunch and dinner as a way to help students get involved. Students were able to make Valentines Day cards for hospital patients, offer words of encouragement for their peers, drink some coffee and dare to be kind.
“This was my first year participating in RAK week and I loved it,” says Wilmington freshman, Ellie Suggs. “I was very encouraged by the kindness I witnessed. It was awesome to see students encouraging each other and also our community.
The main goal for RAK week is to empower students to be kind during that week of course, but also to be kind always. The effect of the clothespins for example shows how quickly kindness can spread from one seemingly ‘small’ action.
On Wednesday, SLEB provided pre-made clothespins coated with words of encouragement, compliments, and funny jokes. Once a person was pinned, they were encouraged to pin someone else. Clothespins could be seen all around campus on backpacks, doors, jackets, hair, and even on President Jim.
“People come up to us at tabling and share how cool an event is or their day was impacted by a clothespin?” says SLEB President, Keni Brown. “The absolute best feeling in the world and that is what we work towards every year.”
Although the clothespin was one of the only activities in which one could physically see the direct effect of RAK week, the overall smiles and energy was described perfectly by Pet Pals Coordinator, Emory Triance: Powerful.