My name is Peggy Filer and I’m a high school health teacher near Seattle, WA. Fifteen years ago two of my students asked me to be the advisor of their new Random Acts of Kindness Club and I said yes. I asked what we would be doing and they laughed and said they didn’t know – they were random! Perfect, because I am random, too. Since then our club has grown from five members to 125 and we have added things like adopting Main Street in our home town of Duvall, WA, going out for Mexican food and paying for people’s meals, being big buddies for kids with disabilities to help them play baseball and go bowling. Every year we have a Kindness Week with special days like Manners Monday, Thankful Thursday, and Freshmen Friday. During that week we have small strips of colored paper where the kids can write an act of kindness they’ve seen, done, or received and then we link them together to make a Kindness Chain that drapes over our Commons area. We leave it there for a few weeks to remind everyone about how easy it is to be kind. Also, we have invited kids from a nearby elementary school to draw kindness pictures with our kids. I think my big kids enjoy it even more than the younger kids!
I try to emphasize that everyday kindness is the most important thing and that it’s more than just being polite – it’s being warm and authentic. Also, I try to get kids to understand that meanness, as well as kindness, can have a ripple effect so they should try to interrupt that negative cycle and convert it to kindness. We have a feature on our school website called BUSTED FOR KINDNESS where the staff members send me a quick message about a kid they’ve seen being kind and then I go take a picture of them with a sign that says “Kind People Rock” and it goes up for all to see. When I walk in a classroom with that sign the kids turn and are excited to see who is getting BUSTED.
All these things can be easily added to someone’s day. I have no special talent, just a heart that wants to make someone’s day a bit better.