Grand Haven High School freshman Erin Marcowicz is committed to helping as many people as possible experience kindness. Alarmed at the increase in local teenage suicides and concerned with the number of students who feel depressed, lonely, or isolated, Marcowicz and a core group of peers, established a new student club, Do Random Acts of Kindness, (DoRAK). Their goal is to promote genuine acts of kindness hoping to inspire others to spread thoughtfulness; they expect nothing in return.
“People often do not have a clue when someone is depressed, suicidal or having a difficult time,”Marcowicz said. “Seeing people be cruel to others and personally knowing teenagers who have committed suicide has impacted my life and how I want to live it. Sometimes just having someone smile at you can make all the difference in how you feel.”
DoRAK members believe that the power of kindness can change the way people see and experience the world. Throughout the school year, club members have provided hot chocolate to students arriving at school, handed out stress balls, distributed pencils during exam week, and made a mural with sticky notes spelling out “Be Kind.” Future plans include hosting a motivational speaker during Kindness Week, increasing acts of kindness to reach more students, and involving the community in their mission.
The $500 Mudita gift – donated by The Leads Networking Group 6 of the Grand Haven Spring Lake Ferrysburg Chamber of Commerce – will allow the club to purchase supplies and increase their budget.
"We could not be happier that our donation is supporting DoRAK,” said Devon Mapes of the Chamber Leads Group 6. “Their mission resonates with our values and beliefs, they are doing an exceptional job and making extraordinary differences in people's lives. Reaching out and helping others is exactly what we hoped to do by sponsoring this Mudita gift, kindness is far reaching."
People interested in sponsoring a $500 Mudita Gift can contact Barbara Lee Van Horssen at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mudita is a Sanskrit word that means “I rejoice in your good fortune.” The $500 gifts are available to individuals who have creative ideas for improving the lives of others. Applications are available online at extendedgrace.org/mudita-fund.
Extended Grace is a grassroots social lab dedicated to building community while solving problems.
For additional information, visit extendedgrace.org or send an e-mail to email@example.com.