February 15 through the 19th Missouri Western held a random acts of kindness week where students were encouraged to participate in order to help spread kindness and is planned to be an annual event for the university.
The Center of Services Executive Director Kim Sigrist and Administrative Assistant Jennifer Stover were in charge of setting up and planning the random acts of kindness week. Stover shared the inspiration for the event.
“The Center for Service wanted to bring attention to community needs both on and off campus. Random acts do not have to be expensive or time consuming.” Stover said. “For example, MWSU has bins here on campus for easy and convenient donation. Painting rocks provides a little bit of happiness to someone who may see it passing by. Writing a simple thank you note is a tangible reminder that someone has been thought of and is appreciated. Paying for someone's meal or shoveling a neighbor's driveway may ease an unknown burden. Thanking a caregiver on National Caregivers day who is taking care of our loved ones is a way to acknowledge that someone is doing something for us that we may not otherwise be able to do on our own.”
Monday's event allowed students to donate materials to different charities as well as the Campus Cupboard and are still accepting donations at this time.
Wednesday was named the pay it forward event. This day offered students the opportunity to go to Eder 202 and collect a "paying it forward card" to hand out in the community.
Due to the cold weather last week, Tuesday’s event Kindness Rocks and Thursday’s event Griffon Gratitude Day were put together. Students could decorate a rock with a kind message that was available outside the cafeteria in Blum Union from 11:00 am to 1:00 pm.
Stover went on to explain the concept of Kindness Rocks day and why it was such a good event for the students to participate in.
“Where the rocks go are entirely up to the artist.” Stover said. “We would love to see the rocks around campus in a garden or rock bed. They can also be given to a friend, resting on a window sill, placed safely in the community, etc. Rocks are portable so they may even end up moving locations, The idea is to spread a little bit of happiness and cheer in places we may not normally look.”
Also available to do Thursday, students were able to give random thank you notes to their peers around campus as well as get postcards to send from The Center for Service in Eder 202. On Friday students could stop at the center as well to celebrate National Caregiver Day. Students were encouraged to stop by where special thank you cards were created to help recognize nursing home caregivers.
Teghan Wilson is a student that participated in Fridays events. Wilson shared that they considered it a nice thing to do for caregivers.
“I think giving out cards is a nice way to let people know that you like care and appreciate them, for sure.” Wilson said. “So, with the health centers doing as much as they can for covid I think that would be nice.”