Everyone could use a little bit of kindness in their life. Thus, the faculty and students of the sociology department created Kindness Day at Brandeis. Now, with loads of students and faculty behind them, co-coordinators Miriam Krugman ’20 and Michaela Cabral ’19 are taking this well-liked event to the next level.
Krugman is majoring in sociology and minoring in social justice social policy (SJSP), peace, conflict and coexistence (PAX), and women’s, gender and sexuality studies (WGS). Cabral is majoring in African and Afro-American studies (AAAS), WGS and creative writing.
Their involvement across multiple departments at Brandeis is indicative of all the departments at Brandeis joining together, students and faculty alike, on Kindness Day. The event has been occurring for nine years and garners support from more people each and every year, including volunteers.
The Kindness Day team consists of a student committee, volunteer coordinators, club outreach coordinators and “kindness catchers” who are volunteers that are not part of the committee. Together, they have been planning for this year’s Kindness Day as long ago as last year’s Kindness Day.
To kick off the festivities, there will be a coffeehouse on Friday, Nov. 2 from 8 p.m. to 10 p.m. in the Shapiro Campus Center (SCC) Atrium to get people excited about Kindness Week. There will be multiple performance groups attending.
There are many events in the works, and the old favorites certainly have not been forgotten. Kindness Cards, a crowd favorite, will be returning. There will even be an option this year to send a Kindness Card to someone abroad through Google Docs. The sticky note wall will also be returning, where attendees can write a positive message on a sticky note and take one with them. Some more events include cookie decorating, kindness and cocoa, and kindness rock decorating.
All Community Advisors will be doing Kindness in the Quads, where there will be a fun activity around every residence hall. The chaplaincy will also be partnering with the Kindness Day team in hosting a multifaith dinner and a mindful/compassionate listening zen zone. Some other partnerships include the game room in order to provide free games, the Dean’s Suite, which will be doing a t-shirt giveaway, a reusable utensil giveaway, Wake and Shake, and letter writing with the Waltham Group’s Companions to Elders.
There will also be appreciation events, including Facilities Appreciation Lunch, Brandeis Police Appreciation Lunch and writing thank-you letters to Sodexo facilities workers.
There will be lots of free merch, including sticky notes, pens and stickers. “All of Kindness Day is free for students and anyone who engages with it,” stated Cabral.
These free things do not come without funding; Brandeis Kindness Day is funded by the Student Union, and it is also sponsored by departments like Student Activities, the Dean’s Suite, Academic Services, Human Resources and the Department of Community Living.
When asked what their favorite parts of Kindness Day were, both coordinators seemed very excited about the Kindness Cards— especially the act of delivering the Kindness Cards into student’s mailboxes, which they referred to as “stuffing.”
“It’s so fun to see people write them— people come back with stacks…they get so excited, and it’s really fun to stuff them,” said Cabral to The Hoot. “Last year we had over 3,000…and we ordered 4,500 so…people can take as many as they want,” said Cabral and Krugman together. “It’s a really simple but a very…positive thing that happens, it’s one of my favorites,” Cabral said.
Krugman said that her favorite events were the Appreciation events because, in her words, “Sodexo workers, facilities workers…I don’t think they get appreciated that often.”
If this all wasn’t exciting enough, “some stuff is still in the works,” according to Cabral.
Tabling will begin the same day as the coffeehouse, which is Friday, Nov. 2. Monday, Nov. 5 will mark the start of Kindness Week—the Kindness Day team will be tabling from Nov. 5 to Nov. 8. Kindness Day is officially Nov. 8. The tables will be in Upper Usdan and the SCC atrium.