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Kindness Day spreads positivity on campus

By Polina Potochevska

Section: Featured, Features

November 10, 2017

For the past eight years, Nov. 9 has been known as Kindness Day at Brandeis. Kindness Day gives students the chance to send personalized cards to their friends, show appreciation for faculty and staff and spread positivity on campus.

Michaela Cabral ’19, one of the two co-coordinators for Kindness Day, is a triple major in African and Afro-American Studies (AAAS), Women’s, Gender and Sexuality Studies (WMGS) and Creative Writing. In addition to helping coordinate Kindness Day on campus, she works at Phonathon, sings with No Singer Clef Behind, is in Companions To Elders within the Waltham Group and is an orientation leader.

A wall of positive post-it notes in the SCC.

Cabral has been involved with Kindness Day since her first year at Brandeis. She originally joined as a kindness catcher, or a volunteer, but was later asked to join as a volunteer coordinator. Since her sophomore year she has held the position of co-coordinator.

Cabral’s job as a co-coordinator is to ensure that “everything goes smoothly and comes together.” There is a student and a staff committee that hold meetings, so the co-coordinators attend both and relay information to the entire group. Cabral and her co-coordinator, Miriam Krugman ’20, also reach out to various clubs on campus who might like to participate in Kindness Day. Essentially, they make the “connection between students and departments.” Planning for Kindness Day started at the beginning of the semester with the forming of committees, although some ideas for events start developing from the year before.

One popular annual event that takes place during Kindness Day is the signing of kindness cards, where students can fill out cards with nice notes to their friends that will then be delivered to their mailboxes. “It’s always amazing… people take stacks a few inches thick because they have so many friends to send them to,” Cabral exclaimed.

The Kindness Day team

Other events included painting rocks with kind messages, a kindness chain and a wall of compliments on sticky notes in the SCC atrium. One of Cabral’s favorite events was the lunch that they put on for facilities workers with the help of Sodexo, DCL and students who donated meal swipes for the event. Every year different clubs get involved and host events as well, so there is always a new way to spread kindness.

Kindness Day is important to Cabral because “it’s like an act of self care and caring for others… I think people really enjoy an opportunity to be kind when it’s presented to them in such an accessible way.” Also, it sets off a chain reaction where one act of kindness can lead to another.

Cabral hopes to be involved in Kindness Day next year as well. Some goals for next year include holding even more events, as she said, “The more things we can get done, the more we can infuse the campus with kindness.” This year a goal was to ensure that students couldn’t possibly miss the events going on during the day all around campus and she hopes to continue with that next year as well so everyone can participate.

Cabral praised the purpose of Kindness Day and why it’s worthwhile. “It’s not just Kindness Day, but we want to give kindness today and everyday. You’re creating a lifestyle where you’re kind to others and challenging yourself to be kind all the time.”

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