The University of New Mexico Division of Student Affairs has been gearing up for BeKind UNM 2024. The events began with the recent Lobo men’s basketball game against Nevada with the annual Teddy Bear Toss and will continue with BeKind Week Feb. 12-16. Now more than 15 years since its inaugural event, the BeKind initiative continues to celebrate kindness across campus and throughout the community.

This year, BeKind UNM will culminate with the most popular kindness celebrations on Wednesday, Feb. 14. The Kindness Carnival is set to take place in the Student Union Building from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and will feature a food drive with the chance to win free parking, a photo booth, music, games and more. 

Then, at 7 p.m. attend the Lobo women's basketball game against San Jose State and throw a bear at the Teddy Bear Toss. Michael Riordan of the Jennifer Riordan Foundation will start the toss at the women’s game this season.

This tradition brings many fans to the game with a new stuffed animal in hand that they toss onto the court during halftime. This year, the Teddy Bear Toss at the Men’s Lobo game collected 19 large bags filled with stuffed animals, which is already more bears than were collected at both of last year’s games.

The Lobo logo in mid-court is where fans aim for a chance to be entered into a drawing for a grand prize! All the stuffed animals on the court are then collected and distributed to children facing traumatic experiences by the Albuquerque Police Department and Albuquerque Fire Rescue. In 2023, the generosity and kindness of participating Lobos led to the donation of 525 stuffed animals to be given away.

The grand prizes for the Bear Toss include gift cards for Dion's, UNM Bookstore, Christy Mae's, a pair of Popejoy tickets, a handmade Lobo quilt, and swag from UNM Athletics, Student Affairs, Staff Council, Zia Graphics, and other campus departments and partners.

From now until Feb.12, drop off a donation for the UNM Community Health Worker Food Drive to support the Lobo Food Pantry. Donations can be brought to CHWI Suite 3300 at 1650 University Boulevard NE. 

Lobos who bring a donation to the Kindness Carnival on Feb. 14 for the Lobo Food Pantry are eligible to enter for a chance to win a one-month free UNM parking pass! Those interested should bring their donations to the UNM Student Union Building Atrium from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. The Kindness Carnival is FREE and will include a photo booth, music, games, kindness goodies, and much more.

For more information on BeKind UNM events, visit the UNM Student Affairs events page.