By Mathew Pratt
A group of Grand Rapids Community College students aiming to help their peers created a project solely based on acts of kindness.
Alexis Stegeman, Zack Haan, Vinny Battaglio, Kelly Lynch, and Alyssa Cole are part of GRCC’s honor’s program and were inspired by the Kindness Vending Machine created by Artist Andrea Zelenak located at the Devos Place during World of Winter festivities. Their overall goal is to spread awareness, reduce anxiety, and overall make someone’s day a little better with motivating words. It is also to spread encouragement to students to help push through and preserve during rough times.
The students placed about 200 gumball capsules in their Academic Excellence Quarter Machine (A.E.Q.M) and inside each capsule, they inserted kindness prompts.
“These prompts try to connect students with other students, faculty, and GRCC resources. Focus on activities that will destress, recenter, encourage, and connect students,” explained Stegeman in an email to The Collegiate..
Inside the capsules they contain sayings like, “Text someone that you have not talked to in awhile” or “Compliment as many people as you can. By the way, you look great today :)” or “If you’re buying lunch, offer to pay for the person next to you.”
“My group and I believe that this is a symbol of simplicity among complexity and a path to others, counseling and relief. We also want to engage others through a new activity and share GRCC resources,” Stegeman wrote.
A reference to the GRCC Counseling Office can be found on the side of their machine. The machine is located in the Student Life on GRCC’s Main Campus in Grand Rapids. All the proceeds go towards the GRCC Counseling Office and A.E.Q.M capsule up-keep. They encourage individuals to recycle the capsule in the bin below or keep it as a memento.