Often times the smallest acts of compassion or generosity have the ability provide the greatest impact. On February 11, Castleton State College joined the nation-wide movement to spread random acts of kindness.
Senior Erica Bilodeau learned of the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation through her civic engagement courses here at Castleton and has since been eager to introduce the weeklong project to campus.
“I was excited to bring it here,” she said. “Showing someone you care and an act of kindness can change the culture.”
Bilodeau kicked off the week by designing postcards in the Campus Center with instructions for ways to perform acts of kindness in the community. After completing the task students wrote their name on their card and passed it along for someone else to follow its instructions. Each card had room for five people to record their name and act of kindness. Once the card was full the final person was to mail it back to the school.
“It was to see just how far one act of kindness can reach,” Bilodeau said.
The rest of the week followed suit as Bilodeau sought to involve her fellow classmates in the movement.
Tuesday’s “Cards for a Cause” event brought students to the Campus Center to design Valentine’s Day cards for community members who participate in the Meals on Wheels program. After a day of Crayolas and construction paper, Bilodeau hit the kitchen to begin baking for Wednesday’s events.
Around midnight, as most college kids were getting into bed, Bilodeau began her day by delivering Dunkin’ Donuts Box ‘O Joe coffee and boxes of donuts to the overnight public safety staff. Later in the morning, she delivered platters of baked treats to different departments around campus.
“They never really get recognition,” she said. ” I wanted to thank them for all of their behind the scenes work.”
Bilodeau wrapped up the week with a project called “The Clothespin Movement.” Students gathered in the MPR room of Castleton Hall to decorate plain clothespins in expressive themes and colors and filled them with inspirational sayings.
The next step of the project was for the clothespins to be randomly distributed throughout campus. They could be clipped to an unsuspecting persons backpack or simply left out in the open for someone to find. Bilodeau says this was a creative way for people to say something kind.
Overall, Bilodeau said she found the Random Acts of Kindness Week to be a success.
“I didn’t think I would have gotten so much out of it, ” she said. “I’m hoping it’s something that can continue.”