Brandeis hosted the 12th annual Kindness Day on Thursday, Nov. 11 with events and activities on campus and online. Leading up to that Thursday, the University had a week packed with different kindness related events. The theme for this year’s celebration was “Back Together Again,” which, according to the Brandeis Kindness Day website, encapsulates the excitement for the reunification of the University community in-person after two semesters of virtual learning. 

The day’s festivities included kindness cards, which could be completed virtually or in-person at tent stations at the Fellows Garden, COVID-19 testing centers and in Upper Usdan. Brandeis invited students and staff to write or take physical cards with affirming sentiments. For students who wished to give a card to someone studying abroad or beyond the Brandeis community, they could fill out an online card and send it via email to any address of their choice.

Students were also welcome to create kindness cards and socialize at Cholmondeley's Coffee House in Usen Castle from Monday, Nov. 8 to Wednesday, Nov. 10. The events included free coffee, tea and hot chocolate, as well as craft supplies for cardmaking. 

 To prepare for the Nov. 11 festivities, the Usdan game room offered post-it notes in the days leading up to the main event, on which students could write heartfelt messages to friends while picking up free sweets and snacks. 

Kindness Day at Brandeis takes inspiration from World Kindness Day, a celebration traditionally observed on Nov. 13. The holiday began in 1998, through the World Kindness Movement, a not-for-profit organization whose mission is “to inspire individuals towards greater kindness by connecting nations to create a kinder world.” 

Social media acted as the main avenue for Kindness Day announcements. The Deis Kindness Day Instagram posted vibrant infographics on all smaller events and opportunities to celebrate with several Brandeis organizations. 

Their virtual flyers promoted Brandeis Dems and Students Demand Action’s “Donuts and Voter Registration'' morning event outside Usdan, the Student Union giving away Insomnia Cookies via a golf cart and the Box of Sunshine given by the Department of Community Living. 

Students could post their own Kindness Day experiences and adventures through #KindatDeis on social media. Leading up to Nov. 11, the Kindness Day Instagram account showcased many of the student committee members who made the event possible. Students involved in coordinating the celebration each shared what kindness means to them through the Instagram page. 

A post by Caroline McLaughlin ’23 said, “To me, being kind means being aware of how your actions impact others and acting in a way that makes others feel happy, cared about or appreciated.” 

Kindness Day on campus also included opportunities for community members to give back. Students could donate to the Food and Resources for Equitable and Sustainable Health organization on campus by buying food items on campus and donating in the Usdan Game Room. Students also had the ability to donate a meal swipe to a dining services worker to show their appreciation for their work. 

Larger events on campus aimed at promoting goodwill and friendliness included the "Be Kind to Yourself Fair", the Kindness Day Coffee House, the Usdan Neighborhood Social and a service fair where students could participate in small-scale service projects in the Fellows Garden. 

Graduate Student Affairs also sent students from different organizations within the Graduate School to classes in session on Nov. 11 to give flowers to students and professors.

Sponsors of Kindness Day included Academic Services, Admissions, Brandeis Community Service, Department of Community Living, Dean of Students Office, Graduate Student Affairs, Office for Human Resources, the International Students and Scholars Office, Sodexo, Spiritual Life, Student Activities and the Division of Student Affairs.