Alpha Omicron Pi (AOII) will host Month of Kindness this April, during which members of the sorority will be performing acts of kindness on campus such as giving out candy and doing favors for people.
“The goal [of Month of Kindness] is to promote happiness and well-being across Tufts and bridge gaps between the Greek community and the Tufts community,” AOII President Taylor Kennedy said. “We want to … make everyone at Tufts feel like they’ve been bettered by our efforts and our events.”
AOII Vice President of Communications Amanda Danielson, who is organizing Month of Kindness, said that a Facebook event page will go live the first week of April to keep the Tufts community updated on the sorority’s events.
“It’s going to be a little spontaneous,” Danielson, a sophomore, said. “Part of Month of Kindness is the surprise element.”
Kennedy explained that she started Month of Kindness two semesters ago as the chapter’s vice president of communications, a position responsible for managing social media and public relations, which includes organizing non-philanthropy events. She was inspired by National Random Acts of Kindness Day, which falls on Feb. 17.
“Everyone loves free stuff. It’s not expensive to buy some lollipops and tie some inspirational messages on them,” Kennedy said. “It doesn’t take that much work, and a little bit goes a long way. It shows people that not only does AOII care about our sisters and our philanthropy, we care about the campus and making people happy.”
According to Kennedy, previous Month of Kindness acts have included passing out lollipops with inspirational messages in Tisch Library, giving out hot chocolate and sending Halloween and Valentine’s Day grams. This semester, as a precursor to Month of Kindness, AOII gave out free chai in the Mayer Campus Center on March 11.
“We’ve gotten a lot of positive responses,” Danielson said. “A lot of people are very taken aback when we tell them that things are free.”
Kennedy noted that attendees at the sorority’s philanthropy events are usually students who are involved in Greek life or who are friends with the sisters. One of the objectives of Month of Kindness is to actively reach out to the wider Tufts community, she added.
“If we’re walking around with lollipops in Tisch, it doesn’t matter if you know us, we’re still going to give you a lollipop and engage you in conversation … so it’s a really good way to meet people who wouldn’t necessarily go on their own to our events,” Kennedy said.
Danielson explained that, along with giving out candy after exams, she hopes to expand Month of Kindness to faculty and staff by potentially working with the Tufts Labor Coalition.
Month of Kindness was planned for this April because midterms and finals season tends to be a stressful time when students need a small pick-me-up, Danielson said. Month of Kindness will also coincide with the sorority’s philanthropy week, AOII Goes Blue.
According to AOII Philanthropy Chair Zoe Baghdoyan, who organized AOII Goes Blue, the programming will begin on April 13 and culminate in a dodgeball tournament on April 17. Events will be held every day, with proceeds going to the Arthritis Foundation for juvenile arthritis research and toward tuition for a child to attend Camp Dartmouth-Hitchcock, a camp for adolescents with juvenile arthritis.
“Month of Kindness is about serving the Tufts community through simple acts that could relieve test-taking stress or just make someone smile,” Baghdoyan, a sophomore, told the Daily in an email. “We wanted AOII Goes Blue week to get students interacting and having fun, continuing the idea of Month of Kindness while also doing important work for those affected by juvenile arthritis.”