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Brandeis University's Community Newspaper — Waltham, Mass.

Brandeis gears up for community kindness

Published: November 7, 2014
Section: News

Thursday, Nov. 13 is Kindness Day at Brandeis. Kindness Day, founded five years ago, is a Brandeis tradition.

Undergraduate organizer Gabby Zilkha ’16 said, “Kindness Day was brought to Brandeis by a faculty member who thought this was a perfect fit for our school and a great way to bring together staff, faculty and students to unite with a common mission.” Zilkha said the staff who make this day happen range from undergraduates to the Chaplaincy to many other departments across campus.

To increase excitement for Kindness Day, a Brandeis Kindness Day Facebook page has been up and running, and students have been chronicling their enthusiasm with posts featuring “#deiskindness.” Every time a student uploads a selfie onto the page, they are entered in a daily raffle for Kindness Day prizes. Anyone who participates in all nine daily competitions is entered in a raffle for the Kindness Package.

Additionally, every student who writes a kind comment about a friend on the Brandeis Kindness Day facebook cover photo is entered, along with the friend they wrote about, in a raffle to win a Kindness Day shirt. For example, Zilkha participated in the raffle and wrote, “Nicole Cardona is the true epitome of kindness.”

Kindness Day events will officially start on Tuesday, Nov. 11. when students will have the opportunity to mail free Kindness Day postcards to their friends, faculty members and staff members. E-cards will also be available to send to family members and students abroad.

“This year we ordered 4,000 Kindness Day postcards. Last year we had 3,500 and we actually ran out,” Zilkha said. Postcards will be available for pick up in Lower Usdan, Sherman, the Shapiro Campus Center and the International Lounge. Specific times at which students can pick up cards are listed on the Kindness Day Facebook page.

Events in preparation for Kindness Day will continue throughout the weekend and into next week. Brandeis’ kindness club, the Ripple Effect, is hosting Laughter Yoga on Tuesday, Nov. 11 in the SCC multipurpose room at 7 p.m.

“I think it’s awesome that Brandeis has the initiative to have a day dedicated to be kind to one another. I also think that generally students are kind to each other on a regular basis, and this is a day that allows me to be extra extra kind to others without being weird,” said Jessica Ortega ’15, a kindness catcher.

Zilkha, when asked about her favorite Kindness Day event responded, “We have a bunch of really cool things happening at the International Lounge. It’s like a few community service projects, celebration events, music playing and Kindness Day cards.”

Other events happening on Kindness Day include Blankets for Cradles to Crayons, where participants can tie no-sew fleece blankets to go to Cradles to Crayons, an organization that supports children living in homeless or low-income situations, the Student Events Stress-Buster, where students can color, decorate their own pillowcase, enjoy a free massage from a professional, play video games and more and Garden of Kindness, where students can drink free warm cider and indulge in a chocolate fountain.

In addition to the planned events, there will be “pop-up events” throughout the day. Some of these events include the distribution of free toothbrushes on the Rabb Steps from the Pre-Dental Society and free art supplies at the Rose Art Museum where students can craft their own flowers.

“I hope that students can see Kindness Day and the power that small acts of kindness can have on a community,” said Zilkha. A full list of events and times, as well as e-cards, can be found on the Brandeis Kindness Day Facebook page.