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Ohio State community comes together to celebrate kindness

Buckeye Love campaign coincides with National Random Acts of Kindness Day

The Ohio State University will come together to celebrate National Random of Acts of Kindness Day and to spread Buckeye Love today. Uplifting events and moments will take place across campus, from kindness notes distributed by student groups to special treats at the Wexner Medical Center.

“We can do wonders cultivating our caring and compassionate communities. Together, we can share joy, share kindness and share what it means to be a Buckeye,” said President Kristina M. Johnson in a campus-wide email. “Today is the day to bring out the best in each other.”

Over the past several years, Buckeye Love has evolved from an affinity campaign highlighting love and appreciation for Ohio State and its community to include a more intentional focus on kindness and compassion. This year’s programming is centered around creating one intentional and impactful day for all of Buckeye Nation, when every member of the community can experience kindness.

Student groups are playing a special role in this year’s events. Ohio Staters is one of many groups helping to distribute 30,000 kindness cards across Ohio State’s campuses that direct the recipient to write small, thoughtful notes (included in the card) to two people, spreading the joy further.

“Maybe it is for the person at Starbucks who gives you your drink every day or the person who sits next to you in class or your TA [teaching assistant]. We want you to spread that love around campus to other people,” said Ava Miller, president of Ohio Staters. The group, whose motto is “50 serving 50,000,” names its primary goal as improving the welfare of the campus community.

“National Random Acts of Kindness Day goes right along with that,” Miller said. “The initiative is to impact every single student and person who comes to campus that day, which is a big, meaningful goal. We wanted to help support it in any way we could.”

Emily SternAnother student group, the Boo Radley Society, is also participating in this year’s Buckeye Love events. The group, named after the famous character from To Kill a Mockingbird, performs random acts of kindness throughout the year. Buckeye Love was a natural fit, said Emily Stern, director of outreach for the organization.

“We’re starting the chain of doing something nice,” Stern said, “and we want everyone else to continue it. It’s so easy to put a smile on someone’s face.”

“Although we’re in a stressful time, you shouldn’t have to sacrifice being kind and letting people know you care about them. So, we thought, ‘What can we do to make this better?’ because that is what we need to focus on,” she said.

The Wexner Medical Center team is working hard to ensure its staff and visitors feel this kindness, too. Cookies and candy will be distributed throughout the day, as will messages of encouragement for patients and staff alike. As a special treat, tickets to upcoming Ohio State men’s basketball games will be part of a staff drawing.

“Our focus is on helping our staff feel appreciated and to encourage them to be kind to themselves,” said Mary Connolly, senior marketing consultant at the Wexner Medical Center, who helped develop the hospital’s programming for the day.

Students, faculty and staff will be sharing their surprise acts of kindness on social media throughout the day using the #BuckeyeLove hashtag, along with simple reminders to #BeKind.

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