Kenan Insider’s “Kindnessgrams” featured in Chronicle
This week’s Chronicle article “Being Honest Spreading Kindness,” written by columnist Elliott Davis, features a project by Andrew Carlins, Kenan Insider and creator of “Kindnessgrams.” In his September Kenan Insider Blog, Carlins describes how he came up with the idea for Kindnessgrams and the OAK (One of a Kind) care packages:
So, this past week I decided to embark on a research action project to explore ways to improve happiness around campus.
I limited the research to two short questions: “What was the nicest thing someone ever did for you? and “Where do you feel happiest?” I asked these questions to my friends, my family, random people on campus, and even to myself, and found fascinating results.
Time and again people would say the nicest “thing” that someone else ever did was pass a thoughtful compliment of some kind, typically the more “random” the compliment the more “nice” it was perceived as. It is interesting how much the element of surprise plays into our perception of genuinity. People also almost always identified their home or their dorm as the place they feel happiest and at peace with themselves. I now knew that the best way to spread happiness was with some small, random act of kindness that was nearby one’s dorm. I was done with my research.
In his article Davis writes, “Andrew Carlins, a sophomore, launched an amazing program to facilitate students supporting one another. In September, Andrew started “Kindness Grams,” packages containing a handwritten note, Kind snack bar, and small gift. Anyone can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to request a Kindness Gram for a friend, and it will be delivered to them without costing the sender or receiver a penny. Andrew has tabled at the Bryan Center Plaza with the Wellness Center asking students to write a note to a friend which will be part of a Kindness Gram for them. ”
“With the support of the Wellness Center, and the Kenan Institute, we have been able to turn this idea into a reality. Together we hope to create opportunities for meaningful engagement amid the stresses that come with being a Duke student.”