January 17, 2019

By JESSICA PETT

There’s one thing that students have in common – they can all use a pick-me-up on occasion. That is where Random Act of Kindness Day comes in. On Nov. 6 the college will be participating in this special day in an effort to promote kindness between all staff, students and visitors.

Conestoga College partners with the Kitchener and Waterloo Community Foundation, which started holding Random Act of Kindness Days in 2008. The event is also held worldwide.

The official website, www.randomactsofkindness.org, provides new and creative ideas to be kind as well as stories of kindness by people around the world so that others can learn new ways of performing kind acts toward one another.

On Nov. 6 Student Life leaders at Conestoga will promote the day by holding activities (which are being kept under wraps until that day). Acts of kindness can be as simple as buying a stranger a coffee or making a donation to a local charity.

In addition, there will be “hot spot” booths scattered around all of the college campuses, each with its own focus, whether it be for people who are having a bad day or for people who want to learn new ways to spread kindness. These booths, which will be run by volunteers, will be able to meet the needs of people in all sorts of situations, as the volunteers are there to talk about available resources in addition to showing kindness.

Laura Black, a Student Life programmer for community initiatives at Conestoga College, finds that getting to know someone on a deeper level is a great way to brighten a person’s day.

“I find that taking the time to get to know a person and their story is the most important thing you can do,” said Black, “but I think you can apply that into the community setting within the college too, so I try to get to know all of my volunteers’ names, the programs that they’re in and their family situations, as much as they want to share with me.”

Black said the reason the college continues to partner with the Kitchener-Waterloo organization each year is because they can see what a difference it makes in the community.

“To see somebody walking down the hall that day who looks busy, tired, exhausted, especially because it’s just after midterms are happening, they’re gearing up for all their big projects and really to stop them and give them a one-minute break of happiness shows them that good things are happening around them.”

Evan Reinhart, a first-year bachelor of community and criminal justice student, thinks it is easier to spread kindness when having a positive attitude to begin with.

“I think the best way to spread kindness is to demonstrate a positive mindset at all times. When people have a positive outlook on life they’re much more likely to spread positivity onto others. With a generally positive mindset, acts of kindness come naturally and are more genuine,” he said.

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