By Jillian Baker
On Monday, Sept. 25, the Friends of Rachel club held the 97 Kindness Walk event.
The event began at 6:30 p.m. at the Alumni Plaza.
At the time of the event, there were 97 days left of 2017 and the Friends of Rachel club hosted the Kindness walk to promote kindness, love and compassion.
“There are 97 days left of the year 2017. What are you going to do to make Kutztown a kinder campus? How do you know that trust, compassion and beauty will not make this world a better place to be in and this life a better one to live?,” said an advertisement for the event posted by Rachel Wolfe, the president of the club.
Students were encouraged to create posters before the walk began.
Posters shared messages of kindness such as, “We rise by lifting others” and “When you are kind to others, it not only changes you, it changes the world.”
Many student organizations, like KU fraternities and sororities, came to support the Friends of Rachel club.
Friends of Rachel is an organization on campus in honor of Rachel Joy Scott, the first girl killed in the Columbine shooting.
“The mission of this club is to spread kindness and joy across campus and to be the sunshine on days that people need it most,” said Wolfe.
Wolfe challenged all of those who attended the event to put forth kindness into the world. “Stay true to yourself, be honest, listen, smile, give, inspire and connect with those around you.”
“It doesn’t matter who you are, if you know how to treat people in a kind manner than you will be successful in life. KU is a place where kindness could cultivate through our interactions with each other and our intent. Together we stand here as Golden Bears. We are people of our word, people who stick up for those who are not always heard, people who create an atmosphere of love and compassion. Kutztown is a golden place and it is our job to keep that beauty alive,” said Wolfe.
Wolfe ended her speech using the phrase for the event, kindness matters. There were stickers available with the saying.
Other members of the club spoke to share their experiences within the organization, encouraging others to join.
Mary Neuenschwander, associate director of alumni relations, shared her words of kindness. She said, in a world that is bombarding us with negative images in social media, you need to combat it by showing up and taking it one step at a time. “Literally tonight, one step at a time,” she said referencing the walk around the university.
KU’s student vocal group, the Kutztones sang two songs before the walk began.
During the performance, a little pink gift bag filled with beads was passed around the group. The different colored beads represented different things like kindness and trust.