“I guess it’s hard for people who are so used to things the way they are—even if they’re bad—to change. ‘Cause they kind of give up. And when they do, everybody kind of loses.” -Trevor McKenney from Pay It Forward
From Nov. 13 to Nov. 16, Fresno State had its first ever Random Acts of Kindness Week. The week was designed to not only promote kindness throughout our campus in simple acts like opening the door for people or saying thank you, but also to encourage people to “go out of their way to make someone’s day.” I heard of several instances of people purchasing coffee for the person behind them in line, students baking cookies or passing out treats for those they regularly see, and small notes given to express appreciation.
On Wednesday, the Richter Center hosted a movie night for students to watch Pay it Forward. The movie showed how a boy with an assignment to change the world tackled the task and trusted people to do it. The quote above captures the importance of not being stagnant with how things are, and emphasizes how each of our actions brings about consequences.
Fresno State students, I propose a challenge for each of us. Let’s try to start our own kindness chain. With each kind act you receive, pay it forward to three other people. These acts, for example, may be too difficult for one to accomplish alone, but with help, could be accomplished. We will see the effects of this not only in the people or causes we choose to partake in, but also a change in our lives. Are you up for it?
“We ourselves feel that what we are doing is just a drop in the ocean, but the ocean would be less because of that missing drop.” -Mother Teresa
Picture taken by Taylor Daly at Tamarack Beach in Carlsbad, Ca.
This quote has always stuck out at me in regards to service. Many people believe that their service goes unnoticed. They believe that they really can’t make a difference. It is true: somebody can’t do everything, but everybody can do something. With the combined efforts of all volunteers, change begins to emerge. Volunteering is never a wasted effort. If more people were to volunteer, the impact on our city, nation, and world would increase. Teamwork is what leads us to greater change and a better community. By working together, change can happen, and quickly! Get involved in your community and see the impact that it has. Encourage friends and family to participate with you!
You all know that quote that says, “Hard work pays off?” Well its true!!! About two years ago in the spring, seven other Fresno State students and I were busy shoveling compost, picking out weeds, using electrical drills to build plantar boxes, shoveling trenches, and installing an irrigation system. Yes, it was hard work that kept us busy for four days during our spring break, but it was for Fresno State’s annual Alternative Spring Break. Essentially the Alternative Spring Break program does what its name says. It provides students with an opportunity to do something different, or an alternative to what they regularly do for Spring Break. In the spring of 2011 there were two different groups working and providing service at two different sites: one at Sierra Foothills Conservancy building trails and the other at Alluvial Community Garden working around their property and building their first seven plantar boxes.
As team leader of the Alluvial Community Garden project for ASB 2011 with the help of staff at Alluvial Community Garden and staff from Fresno State, I had the opportunity to lead a group of seven Fresno State students and help the garden with the building of their first seven plantar boxes. At the end of the four days the whole group accomplished a lot. We completed all the assignments of the project on time like professionals. The outcomes of that year’s ASB were great! By providing community service for the four days, we helped the garden get started and lay its foundation to work on it’s mission to “provide access to an organic community garden space which facilitate growing food, offering education opportunity promoting therapeutic recreation and building community for residents of the Fresno/Clovis area.”
Now almost two years later it makes me so happy to see those plantar boxes being used by people in the community. As I look at the pictures of the plots overfilled with fresh fruits and vegetables, I think back and reflect on those four days filled with tasks of drilling frames of cedar wood together, shoveling sand, and pulling weeds, and I say to myself, “Paulina it was all worth it!”
I hope you can see that hard work does pay off!
For more info, check out the garden’s website here
For most Valley residents, the words “Kids Day” bring to mind images of volunteers standing on street corners, dressed in neon vests, and waving newspapers at passing cars. For Fresno State students, Kids Day means its time to scope out a prime corner and pull out the sleeping bags.
Fresno State students sell special-edition Fresno Bee newspapers for Kids Day.
A benefit for Children’s Hospital Central California, Kids Day is one of the Valley’s largest fundraising efforts. Each year, well over 1,000 Fresno State students volunteer to sell special edition Fresno State newspapers. Competition between student organizations to sell the most papers often drives students to stake out the most popular street corners as early as the evening prior to the kickoff.
With this year being the 25th anniversary of Kids Day, we hope for record breaking sales. So far, registration for the event has been a great success, but more volunteers are needed.
If you would like to register to participate on Tuesday, March 6th, or for more information, please click here.
- Ambassador Leah
Fresno State students on their two-mile walk around campus to benefit the Bulldog Pantry in their "Will Walk for Food" event on Saturday, September 10th.
This past Saturday, the 10th of September marked the first-ever running of the Will Walk for Food event, a fundraiser walk/run that was put on by the Bulldog Pantry. For those of you who aren’t familiar with this amazing organization, the Pantry is a student-run food bank where folks who are in need can go to receive food every week. The neighborhoods around Fresno State are home to a high level of poverty and there are many families who are simply unable to make ends meet.
Thankfully, the Bulldog Pantry is there to lend a hand to those who need it. And the Will Walk for Food event went a long way to making sure that the Pantry can continue to operate. It was announced that over $3000 was raised, money that will be used to purchase food from the Community Food Bank at a discounted rate (basically, one dollar from the Pantry will purchase $8 worth of grocery store-priced food). This was such a fun event, too! There was a five-mile run and two-mile walk with about 50 participants in total. The Richter Center Ambassadors were there in force, having a great time and sporting an “Ambassadoreo” theme. After the run/walk finished, there was a delicious BBQ dinner and live performance by local band HR7.
Overall, it was a great evening, raising money for an organization near and dear to my heart, and having a good time along the way.
Your Richter Center "Ambassadoreos" gearing up for their trek across campus.
- Ambassador Daniel