Feb. 18, 2013
While the holidays might be over, the season of good will and kindness will continue if freshman Matthew Driftmier has anything to say about it.
Driftmier, founder of the Random Acts of Kindness Club, plans to foster kindness around campus. He founded RAK at the end of last semester.
“We encourage people to take the initiative – something small like paying for someone’s coffee at Jazzman’s,” he said.
The club’s mission statement is to act to provide activities of good will and generosity to all people at UCCS. “It doesn’t have to be complicated. Even something as simple as saying good morning to a stranger can make someone’s day,” the club’s Twitter page reads.
“It’s the spirit of paying it forward. I think more people should engage in it,” Driftmier said. Paying it forward is when one person does an act of kindness for someone and that person continues the chain.
“I’ve seen this club in other colleges, and I just felt like it’s a really great idea, especially with all the tragedies going on. Together as a club, we can do larger events,” Driftmier said.
“There [are] always more opportunities for kindness that go unnoticed or unheeded,” he added. “There’s always room for improvement.”
According to kindnessusa.org, the origins of the “random acts of kindness” concept are uncertain. “Peace activist Anne Herbert is said to have written the phrase ‘Practice random kindness and senseless acts of beauty’ on a placemat in a restaurant in the late 80s.”
Chuck Wall, a professor at Bakersfield College, is another possible creator. The website states Wall heard about “random, senseless acts of violence” on the news in 1993 and decided to assign homework to his students that involved “one random act of senseless kindness.”
“It’s a great way to foster a kindness community. Hopefully this will inspire people to act where they might not have before,” Driftmier said.
On Feb. 14, RAK members passed out heart-shaped lollipops at a table in front of Café 65 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. The club also plans to hand out jars of bubbles during Random Acts of Kindness Week at a date to be determined.
“Why not bubbles? They’re fun, they’re easy – everyone knows how to blow bubbles. There’s a lot of bubble fans,” Driftmier said.
RAK will also have Bubble Wrap Pop Day during the week of mid-terms, an event where RAK members will pass out bubble wrap sheets.
“That’s going to be a ton of fun and hopefully people look forward to it. As a kid, whenever we’d get bubble wrap, I’d always try to pop them before my mom could catch me,” Driftmier said.
“I just hope that people will enjoy it as much as I’m enjoying it. As long as we’re helping to promote kindness where there was none before, that’s a win in my book.”
Students interested in joining RAK can contact Driftmier at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit the club’s Twitter page or Facebook page by searching “rakuccs.”