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Lending a hand

By Leah Ruth

Section: Features

November 12, 2010

 

Last spring a committee met to devise ways to brighten Brandeis’ spirits. After several long months of difficult changes, the group wanted to find small things that could bring the Brandeis community together.

Several months of planning lead to the creation of the first Brandeis Kindness Day. The event coincides with World Kindness Week, which runs from Nov. 8 through 14. According to Professor Wendy Cadge (SOC), a member of the original committee, the timing made perfect sense; with Thanksgiving coming up, a day devoted to kindness would logically lead to feelings of gratitude.

With the help of other students, Rebecca Bachman ’13 and Lara Solinsky ’11 tabled in Usdan in the week leading up to Kindness Day, promoting the event with pie, postcards that students can send to friends and cards to underappreciated groups that students can sign.

Bachman and Solinsky have been instrumental in coordinating on-campus activities, Cadge said. Serving as student representatives on the Kindness Day committee, they were tasked with spreading the word about the event.

“[We’ve been] trying to ensure that Kindness Day takes over campus so that all undergrads know that it is happening,” Solinsky said.

“Often our lives and schedules are so chaotic that we often forget about the smaller things in life,” Community Service Director Lucas Malo said. “Everyone likes to feel good about themselves, feel valued, and appreciated. This is a day to treat your professor to lunch, bake cookies for your CA, give your server a special note with their tip, call your grandparent or [do] 101 other heart-felt acts.”

“By having a day devoted to doing small acts of kindness we can change this and give the whole campus an opportunity to really think about those around them and appreciate each other!” Solinsky said. “You never know when a smile or simple ‘thank you’ will change someone’s day.”

Student Union President Daniel Acheampong ’11 and Secretary Herbie Rosen ’12 wrote a letter to the Waltham City Council, informing them of the university’s plans. In the letter, they thanked the Waltham community for supporting university life:

“On behalf of the Brandeis University undergraduate student body, we thank the entire community of Waltham for its kindness. Together we form a partnership that brings the university and the town of Waltham into a lasting union that creates an exceptional community to be a part of.”

“I think that this project is a great way for the University community to show again how dedicated it is to social justice,” Rosen said. “Plus, Kindness Day is just fun. Fun

is always a good thing to have around Brandeis; might as well help others feel good while you are having fun.”

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