A random act of kindness has resulted in a viral response of good deeds at St. Mary’s College. Thanks to the actions of one student on a stormy day, students in Mrs. Sandra Rollin’s Grade 10 Religion class formed a Random Acts of Kindness Team that has rewarded spontaneous good behaviour.
“The idea first started after one of my grade 10 religion students, Forrest Berry, was caught in action. On one of our bus cancellation days, with a weather combination of blowing snow and ice accumulation, this student, without being asked, went out of his way to help a staff member remove a very thick layer of snow and ice from their vehicle,” said Rollin.
Prompted by hearing the story of Berry’s action, his classmates worked together to create the Random Acts of Kindness (RAK) Campaign. It provides students and staff with a daily act of kindness challenge and encourages them along the way by sharing a variety of kindness quotes. A favoured challenge encourages students and staff to take a technology time-out and to use that precious time to spend some quality time with a family member or friend.
“I did it automatically. I knew it was the right thing to do. It’s nice to know that it made a difference,” said Berry.
“It’s about reminding people to be aware, look around, don’t miss opportunities to reach out to others, be helpful,” said Michael Martin.
“It’s so easy to get caught up in all the negative things going on in our world, especially if we listen to the news. It was really nice to focus on something positive and really think about the power of kind words and actions,” said Emma Vallecorsa.
Students set up a Random Acts of Kindness tree in the school’s front lobby and visited classrooms to give both students and staff an opportunity to fill in heart shaped ornaments, with acts of kindness they had witnessed, done themselves or received. The initiative quickly gained momentum, not only in the class but through the school community.
“It was truly an amazing experience to see students coming together with a common goal of spreading kindness, creating a positive environment, and inspiring and motivating others to do the same,” said Rollin.
The campaign also allowed some of the students to showcase their talents and find new ones.
“It gave me an opportunity to use my artistic talents to create a poster for our campaign. It was a lot of fun,” said Emma Black.
“I helped out with the daily announcements. On the first day I was literally so nervous, I was shaking. But honestly, by day three I was ready for it. Being part of the Random Acts of Kindness Team really helped me build up my confidence,” said Caeleigh DiLuzio.
The RAK Campaign quickly had a domino effect within the school and it has spread beyond St. Mary’s College. It is a gentle reminder, that every act of kindness, no matter how small, can truly make a difference. We really do have the power to change the world, one random act of kindness at a time.