The Office for Student Involvement’s annual Kindness Week is in full force from Monday, Feb. 10 – Friday, Feb. 14, with various events taking place throughout the week. From service projects to therapy dogs, the OSI plans and implements activities with one central goal in mind — spreading kindness.
“We are looking for ways to teach others to be kind,” said Daryl Blackburn, graduate assistant of leadership and service programs. “We know that [the weeks leading up to spring break] are more stressful weeks with testing and homework, so we pick this week to end on a happy note.”
On Monday, the OSI hosted its ExplOUration Series, where participants discovered their leadership styles.
According to Blackburn, the ExplOUration Series enables students to “compare their leadership style to their kindness style, giving them more ways to be kind in those positions.”
On Tuesday, therapy dogs were in the OSI office for “Dog Days of Winter.” Participants were able to relax and hang out with the dogs, as well as snack on puppy chow and other “pet related” foods.
Oakland University Day of Kindness is Wednesday, Feb. 12. This is an all-day event from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. that will take place in the Oakland Center (OC) ballrooms. According to Blackburn, tables will be set up all around for participants to make service projects for donation.
“In this case, we are showing kindness not only at OU, but in the community,” Blackburn said.
He enjoys how outreach spans beyond one campus, as everything made is donated to various nonprofits and organizations.
Cocoa, Cookies and Kindness is Thursday’s event, located in Kresge Library. Students, faculty and staff can swing by and grab a free treat as the OSI continues its mission to spread joy and comfort.
“Students love free food, and I know I do, too,” said sophomore Sarah Pasco, a student assistant at the OSI. “Overall, I’m really looking forward to Kindness Week, there are a ton of fun things to do.”
The OSI is introducing a new event this year as well with card writing and decorating Friday, Feb. 14. According to Blackburn, students can write a card of kindness to others on campus from and the OSI will deliver them to various departments and offices. The card writing will take place in the OSI office on the lower level of the OC from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Aside from Kindness Week activities, exclusive T-shirts are being given away throughout the week. To be entered into the T-shirt drawing, students must grab a Kindness Week punch card and attend three out of the five events to snag some limited merchandise. Participants can stop by anytime to pick up a punch card or try their luck, as T-shirts will be handed out randomly at most of the week’s events.
When it comes to the main intention of Kindness Week, Blackburn stressed the importance of simple, generous acts.
“There are just so many ways that we can be kind to each other and the community” he said. “Doing one of these activities during the week, or everything, is a small act of kindness that makes our community better.”
For more information on the OSI and volunteer opportunities, visit its website.