The goal of the Random Acts of Kindness Club is simple. They want to provide little things to make everyone's day better.
Small things can have a profound impact - whether it's free coffee and doughnuts, inspirational sticky notes left all around campus, or messages of gratitude for the dining staff.
If you've spent any amount of time on the Castleton University campus, you are probably familiar with their work. The group has put on many initiatives to brighten our days. It is, of course, The Castleton Way.
Ryann Rider, a freshman Multidisciplinary Studies major with a concentration in Social Studies from Claremont, New Hampshire, is in her first semester with the club and is serving as president.
She said they are planning out their initiatives for the rest of the year. One in the works is to repeat last semester's effort of putting small bags of candy with positive messages on cars all around campus.
"Our activities bring kindness and confidence. Even though I wasn't involved with the little goodie bags on campus last semester, it made me happy when I got one on my car," Ryann said. "It boosts people's confidence and makes them want to get involved or join our club and be kind to friends and family."
Alyssa Crean serves as the club’s communications director. She is a sophomore Secondary Education in Mathematics major from Mahwah, New Jersey. She is also a member of the Equestrian Club, Student Education Association, the Student Council for Exceptional Children, and Backcountry Hunters and Anglers.
Alyssa said she wants to see the club further integrate inspirational acts into the campus culture.
"It's important for students to have that little confidence booster or receive a little thank you note," Alyssa said. "It is good to provide little things to make everyone's day better. Everyone on campus enjoys the things that we do and the events that we put on or take part in. They appreciate it."
Alyssa said she gives the club a voice and gets the word out about events and club meetings in her role as communications director. There are about 50 people involved with the club, but they are always looking for more. Alyssa hopes to see even more students, faculty, and staff become active.
"I found college can be a very stressful time, so those little pieces to help motivate you and bring up your mood are something that I always like to be part of," Alyssa said. "It's a great way to get everyone together and help raise each other's spirits."
Both Ryann and Alyssa appreciate contributing to Castleton's supportive and caring campus culture.
"I thought it would be more difficult to make friends and get involved on campus because I am a commuter," Ryann said. "Everyone on campus is so welcoming and friendly. All of my professors are super accommodating and really nice. They are all great."
"I love the small community feeling and small classes because you do have that one-on-one with the teachers because they care a lot," Alyssa said. "They care about you as a person, which I love because you are going to have those off days. Whether it's just being there or having someone to talk to, they are supportive in helping you get through class or your day. I love the homey environment, and I love the outdoors, so it's perfect.”