Celebrate Random Acts of Kindness Week with Student Affairs, February 10-16, 2014!

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Read the Student Affairs February Update newsletter with a special Random Acts of Kindness theme.  

Submit kind words about UNM students on the Be Kind UNM facebook page

The Division of Student Affairs will once again be spearheading the celebration of Random Acts of Kindness week on the UNM campus, Monday Feb. 10 through Friday, 16, 2014.  Several events are planned for the week, some of which have been done in past years and some are brand new!  

New this year, people can "Take a seat, Make a Friend" as seen in the Youtube video in our "Pit of Kindness" which will be at various locations on campus between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. each day of the week.  New Mexico Educators Federal Credit Union will also be collecting teddy bears for children at the UNM Children's Hospital Level 1 Trauma Center and Regional Burn Center at their University Branch and the SUB branch on Campus and at various collection sites on campus including the SUB duing the Caring at Every Connection press conference on Monday, Feb. 10 and Welcome Desk.  

Events include:

Monday, Feb. 10, SUB 2nd Floor (Outside Ballrooms) noon to 1 p.m.

♥  Caring at Every Connection Kick-Off Press Conference 

Tuesday, Feb. 11, New Mexico Educators Federal Credit Union

♥  Visit New Mexico Educators FCU UNM Branch for kindness goodies

Wednesday, Feb. 12, Student Union Bldg., 11 a.m. to 1 pm.

♥  Let us open the door for you and give you goodies!

♥  Make a valentine card for UNM Children’s or Carrie Tingley Hospital 

♥  Enjoy free kind words, candy, “be kind” buttons and general niceness

♥  Participate in the kindness flash mob

Thursday, Feb. 13, Ethnic Centers Courtyard, noon to 1 pm.

♥  Free fruit & other goodies from El Centro de la Raza

♥  Free chair massages from Student Health & Counseling

♥  “Love is Love” Dance sponsored by LGBTQ (7 -9 p.m. SUB Ballroom C)

Friday, Feb. 14, Various Locations listed below

University Advisement & Enrichment Center, 9 to 11 a.m. 

♥  Free kind words, candy, “be kind” buttons and general niceness

New Mexico Educators FCU 11 a.m. - 1 p.m.

♥  Free Kindness goodies and treats

La Posada Dining Hall, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. 

♥  Flower for anyone who dines at La Posada Dining Hall for lunch 

Help save a life!

Donate blood at the ASUNM Community Experience Blood Drive 

See more videos on our Youtube Channel

25 Simple Random Acts of Kindness Ideas

  • heart

    1.    Send someone a hand written note of thanks.
    2.    Make a card at home and send it to a friend.
    3.    Adopt a stray animal.
    4.    Put some coins in another student’s parking meter.
    5.    Buy a coffee for a student or co-worker.
    6.    Walk your friend’s dog.
    7.    Give a compliment about your server to their manager.
    8.    Volunteer at a shelter.
    9.    Give Blood.
    10.  Mentor a child.
    11.  Treat a friend to a mid-week movies.
    12.  Give a huge tip to someone when they least expect it.
    13.  Hold the elevator door open for someone on the shuttle.
    14.  Give up your seat for someone.
    15.  Talk to a homeless person and have a “normal” conversation.
    16.  Pick up some trash around campus
    17.  Compliment a co-worker for their excellence.
    18.  Babysit for a friend.
    19.  Give another driver your parking spot.
    20.  Donate to charity.
    21.  Tell all your co-workers how much you appreciate them.
    22.  Buy an inspirational book for a friend.
    23.  Let someone go ahead of you in line at the SUB eateries.
    24.  Do something nice for yourself.
    25.  Smile a lot.

Health benefits of being kind

  • Numerous scientific studies show that acts of kindness result in significant health benefits, both physical and mental. Here are some key points:

  • Helping contributes to the maintenance of good health, and it can diminish the effect of diseases and disorders serious and minor, psychological and physical.
  •  A rush of euphoria, followed by a longer period of calm, after performing a kind act is often referred to as a “helper’s high,” involving physical sensations and the release of the body's natural painkillers, the endorphins. This initial rush is then followed by a longer-lasting period of improved emotional well-being.
  •  Stress-related health problems improve after performing kind acts. Helping reverses feelings of depression, supplies social contact, and decreases feelings of hostility and isolation that can cause stress, overeating, ulcers, etc. A drop in stress may, for some people, decrease the constriction within the lungs that leads to asthma attacks.
  •  Helping can enhance our feelings of joyfulness, emotional resilience, and vigor, and can reduce the unhealthy sense of isolation.
  •  A decrease in both the intensity and the awareness of physical pain can occur.
  •  The incidence of attitudes, eg, chronic hostility, that negatively arouse and damage the body, is reduced.
  •  The health benefits and sense of well-being return for hours or even days whenever the helping act is remembered.
  •  An increased sense of self-worth, greater happiness, and optimism, as well as a decrease in feelings of helplessness and depression, is achieved.
  •  Once we establish an “affiliative connection” with someone—a relationship of friendship, love, or some sort of positive bonding—we feel emotions that can strengthen the immune system.
  •  Adopting an altruistic lifestyle is a critical component of mental health.
  •  The practice of caring for strangers translates to immense immune and healing benefits.
  •  Regular club attendance, volunteering, entertaining, or faith group attendance is the happiness equivalent of getting a college degree or more than doubling your income.

Stories of Kindness

  • Last year a few of you shared your stories of kindness with us.  We would love to hear some more!  Please email your story to Dorene DiNaro at ddinaro@unm.edu and look for them on this page at a later date!

  • APD Officer Makes Little Boy's Day

  • Submitted by Dorene DiNaro

  • It has been all too common lately to hear stories portraying the Albuquerque Police Department in a less than favorable light. Therefore, I wanted to share a very positive experience I recently had with an Albuquerque Police Officer—a random act of kindness by a wonderful person made a little boy’s day and wanted nothing in return. To me, the following picture speaks for itself, but here is the story anyway.

  • My husband, our 3-year-old son and I were out for a walk with our dogs yesterday afternoon in our Albuquerque South Valley neighborhood. We saw a police officer who was out on a regular neighborhood patrol going in the opposite direction. My son pointed to the car and said to me, “Mama, there’s a wee-eww car!” He calls police cars “wee-eww” cars because that’s the sound their sirens make. The officer must have seen my son’s excitement and so he turned his car around so that he could pull up next to us.

    The officer (whose name I didn’t get) rolled down his window and said to my husband and I, “I think I have some toys in here,” and proceeded to get out of his car with a bag full of toys. As you can see by the look on my son’s face, this was a wonderful experience for him and he gave the officer a big hug. Such a small act of kindness made my son’s day.

    I think the world would be a far greater place, if we each made even the smallest effort to make someone else smile!

  • Dog Lover Gives Pooch A Good Home

  • Submitted by Heather Savage
  • I have always been huge dog lover and always donate to the ASPCA. I already had one 5 lb chihuahua at home, that I had had for a couple of years and was not looking for another dog. Before moving to New Mexico on one of my trips here to visit my parents, I heard about how a box of puppies had been left on their neighbors doorstep and how one of them had a broken paw that they could not afford to get fixed.Their neighbor ended up bringing the puppy over and she was the ugliest little thing you could imagine. She was skin and bones with all her ribs sticking out and was almost completely bald and had very dry skin and sores down her back, and she also had a crooked left front paw that she stood awkwardly on. She had the saddest eyes like the dogs on the ASPCA commercials, and was very fearful. As soon as I saw her I knew I had to take this poor puppy home. She rarely left my arms for the rest of my trip. I began rubbing aloe on her back and that helped with her dry skin and sores. I made arrangments to get her back to Connecticut with me. Once there I took her straight to the vet who was unable to fix her paw because it had already started healing and found out that her hair loss was from not eating regularly and would grow back once she was eating properly. She immediately took to my other chihuahua and loves having a big sister. She has never missed a meal again and her coat has come in a beautiful tan with a red stripe down the middle of her back and tail. She hasn't gotten any bigger than 3.5lbs and still has a crooked little paw but runs just fine. Her crooked little leg makes her look like a bull dog when she is standing there trying to look tough. She gives me kisses every night before we go to bed and shows me in some way almost every day how grateful she is to have a home. Rescue dogs are very special dogs. Unlike my older dog who has never known what it is like to be hungry, rescue dogs are grateful for any kindness and trust me they show it.

    Paramedic Helps Patient in Need

    Submitted by Maril Loope

    I try to live by this rule as much as possible; what goes around, comes around. Leaving a nickel in the water bottle machine may help out the next person who is a nickel short, which we all know is a bummer.  My biggest random acts have come from medicine. I became an paramedic so I could help others in need, in their worst moments. Lying on a steel gurney is a scary place to be, when people cannot, or refuse, to see you.  One case sticks out from the others, in regards to this topic. During my ambulance time, I responded to a call in which a woman had hurt herself. Upon arriving on scene, I assessed the situation, and sent the crew to the hallway.  My patient and I talked; I encouraged her to clean the bleeding wounds she had, then I bandaged them for her. I rode to UNMH with the transporting crew - I knew that ride would be about the last 20 normal minutes she would have for a while.  We had a very easy going conversation, and when we arrived at the hospital, I stayed until she checked in. On the way out, she placed a hand on my shoulder, looked at me, and said thank you.  Pay it forward, the golden rule, whatever you want to call it. Those who are strong have an obligation to help the weak.

    A Pair of Gloves Makes a Big Difference

    Submitted by Jan Zerr

    I stopped at Circle K one morning to get a soda and overheard a gentleman talking to the cashier (and I eventually got involved in the conversation).  He said he stays at a shelter but they have to be out by a certain time each morning.  He said he was standing outside a business after leaving the shelter a few days earlier and a man came up and started talking to him.  He told the man about staying in the shelter and having to be out by a certain time each morning and that he didn't have gloves and his hands were so cold.  The man opened the store and told him to follow him and took him to where the gloves were.  He told him that he was the manager of the store and told him to pick out any pair he wanted.  He said he picked out a pair of gloves and his hands are now warm when he is out in the cold.  As we all talked he said how grateful he was to that manager.  A pair of gloves seem like such a small thing, but to that gentleman it was the nicest thing anyone had ever done for him. 

    Food Warms the Heart

    Submitted by Rachel Stone

    Stefanie Rotunno is a person in my office who is always willing to listen to my stories and give advice.  We were talking about cooking the other day, and I told her that I can NEVER get my pinto beans to turn out right.  They are either to bland or too firm; I had given up.  She then proclaimed that she makes THE best beans ever!  She briefly told me what she does to make her beans sublime and I made a mental note.  A couple of days later, Stefanie  brought me some of her fantastic beans!!!  And she was right, they were great!  What a nice thing to do because that afternoon, I did not need to wonder what to have for lunch.  Thank you, Stefanie!

    • Be Kind post-it noteClick the post-it note on the left  for thank you notes you can use to show your co-workers you appreciate them.