San Jacinto College students incorporate acts of kindness into their college schedules

Buying lunch for a friend or stranger, holding the door open, and giving someone a compliment are just a few examples of selfless acts that can brighten a person’s day.

February is the month of Random Acts of Kindness, and although Feb. 17 is the designated day of the observance, being kind can be relatively easy, affordable and benefit both the giver and recipient each and every day of the year, says Kirsten Wendeburg, president of the San Jacinto College Mental Health Student Association.

Wendeburg and her peers are making poster boards this month filled with about 200 sticky notes with positive affirmations. These include sayings like, “I matter,” “Every day is a fresh start,” and “I am unique.” Students passing by in the Student Center are encouraged to stop and choose a couple of the notes to take with them.

“From a mental health aspect, saying something as simple as ‘you’re good enough’ can potentially change someone’s life,” said Wendeburg.

Diana Johnson, medical assisting program director, has her students incorporate random acts of kindness into their program by making jars of popsicle sticks with handwritten notes of kind gestures. These include buying school supplies for others and bringing cookies to class. The group has also given to the food bank and food shelters, and helped out at the College’s The Laboratory School by taking children’s height and weight measurements.

“Random acts of kindness shouldn’t be limited to just a day; everyone should have respect for others and be kind to everyone,” said Litzy Olivares, medical assisting student.

Johnson said it’s all about getting out of one’s comfort zone to lend a helping hand. “This is about showing someone that they matter and that we care,” said Johnson. “Also, it’s important to not expect something in return. The focus is about making someone feel important and special.”

Johnson said there are no rules when thinking about random acts of kindness as long as the act itself is positive and makes another person feel special. Below are some acts of kindness ideas from Johnson and the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation.

o   Give someone a compliment

o   Say “hello” to someone you don’t know

o   Buy someone in need a meal, grocery or supplies

o   Feed animal shelters

o   Donate to an organization

o   Open or hold open the door for someone

o   Send a note of encouragement to someone

o   Write positive sticky notes

o   Run or walk a 5K for a cause

o   Help clean the environment 

o   Ship a care package

o   Compliment a coworker’s skill or leave a positive note

o   Help out in the kitchen

o   Take out a neighbor’s trashcan

o   Start a community garden

o   Befriend the new kid

About San Jacinto College

Surrounded by monuments of history, industries and maritime enterprises of today, and the space age of tomorrow, San Jacinto College has been serving the citizens of East Harris County, Texas, since 1961. As a fiscally sound institution, the College currently holds bond ratings of AA and Aa2 by Standard & Poor’s and Moody’s, respectively. San Jacinto College is a 2017 Aspen Prize for Community College Excellence Rising Star Award recipient and an Achieving the Dream Leader College. Approximately 45,000 credit and non-credit students each year benefit from a support system that maps out a pathway for success. The College offers eight areas of study that prepare a diverse body of students to transfer to four-year colleges or universities or enter the workforce with the skills needed to support the growing industries along the Texas Gulf Coast. San Jacinto College graduates contribute nearly $690 million each year to the Texas workforce.

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