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Random Acts Lead to Smiles

Published on 01 April 2015

A large glass jar filled with multi-colored note cards lay before her. She reached in her hand and plucked out the one with white polka dots on a green background.

‘You bring so much joy to the world!’ was written neatly inside. A smile spread across her face.

The St. Louis College of Pharmacy student was one of hundreds who participated in the College’s first ever random acts of kindness week. For five days students, faculty, and staff wrote and received positive messages through this glass jar. The jar was repeatedly picked clean.

“I thought it would go well, but didn’t expect it to go as well as it did,” says freshman Mariah Voyles.

The idea of the week was formed by Kateryna Barnes, student success counselor, with support from one of the College’s newest clubs, Active Minds. The club is a peer support group which also educates the community on mental health awareness. They first stocked the jar with 100 notes. As those were pulled from the jar, they were replaced by notes written by other students, faculty, and staff.

Most of the notes in the jar were short ones, but occasionally there was something more.

“I feel good that people wrote longer notes,” says freshman Ali Skaggs. “When someone picked one of those longer messages it made it seem more personal. I feel people really appreciated those notes.”

Most opened their notes at the table. Both Skaggs and Voyles say they saw faces light up one after another.

 “People have kindness and appreciation for each other,” says Voyles. “That’s something we don’t consider on a daily basis. By writing a note a person that you don’t know shows you care about the others around you.”

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