The Division of Student Affairs at the University of New Mexico partners with New Mexico Educators Federal Credit Union to celebrate the fifth annual National Random Acts of Kindness (RAK) week from Monday, Feb. 10 through Sunday, Feb. 16.

This year, the UNM Student Affairs “kindness” committee is not only hosting several events throughout the week, including some old favorites such as kind sayings, free hugs and compliments, candy, “Be Kind UNM” pins, food and more, but new additions as well. This year will feature a “Pit of Kindness,” where participants will have the chance to sit in a ball pit with a stranger and make a new friend. Also, in addition to hosting several valentine card creation stations where people can make a spécial, unique valentine for a patient at either the Children’s Hospital or Carrie Tingley Hospital, New Mexico Educators Federal Credit Union will be collecting teddy bears for the UNM Children’s Hospital Level 1 Trauma Center and Regional Burn Center. 

In addition to events, Student Affairs directors, UNM athletes and staff will be on hand at the Student Union Building during the week opening doors for students and handing out some encouraging quotes and goodies along the way. 

“In light of the incidents of violence and bullying we hear about in the news, it is important, especially at a university, to keep kindness in the forefront of our minds,” said Eliseo “Cheo” Torres, vice president of Student Affairs. “I would especially like to thank Dr. Kim Kloeppel, UNM Student Affairs Fiscal and Planning Officer, and the UNM kindness committee for organizing this important weeklong event to allow us to pause and reflect on being considerate of others.”  

But you don't have to wait until then to spread a little kindness. Do you know someone who helped with a special project, covered for you when you were out or simply offered a kind word? Express your appreciation and be a part of Staff Council's Kindness Chain by sending someone an appreciation "link."   Visit the Staff Council website for the "link" and follow the easy instructions. Don't break the Chain - get one, give one.

Random Acts of Kindness Day was founded by Josh de Jong, a sales manager at a real estate firm in New Zealand. His intention was to challenge people to do something kind to a friend or stranger for no reason at all. And numerous scientific studies show that acts of kindness result in significant health benefits, both physical and mental.

For a complete list of events and more information on all initiatives, including a link for kindness story submissions, thank you notes and simple ideas for small acts of kindness that can make a big impact in another’s life, visit the Random Acts of Kindness.