The University of New Mexico BeKind Initiative in collaboration with UNM Student Affairs put on a Kindness Carnival Monday in the Student Union Building as part of Kindness Week.
The event featured games, food and prizes. According to Kim Kloeppel, chief operations officer for UNM Student Affairs, the Kindness Carnival was hosted by the BeKind Initiative to encourage students to give back to the community and spread kindness.
This was the second year that UNM hosted the Kindness Carnival, said Jessica Carlton, a student volunteer at the Kindness Carnival and volunteer with the Be Kind Initiative.
However the kindness initiative began around 16 years ago in an effort “to promote kindness on campus and in within the community,” Kloeppel said
According to Cindy Mason, the unit administrator for Student Affairs, multiple departments helped plan and run the carnival. UNM Student Health and Counseling, the Department of Communication & Journalism, UNM Children’s Campus and the athletics department all contributed to the event.
The carnival included mini golf, card making, therapy animals, a photo booth and a teddy bear toss.
BeKind pins and bumper stickers were also available.
UNM made these bumper stickers after a road rage incident in Albuquerque killed 4-year-old Lilly Garcia, said Rebecca Crismon, a student volunteer at the carnival and volunteer with the BeKind Initiative.
Another activity at the carnival was painting rocks with positive images and words. The stones will be placed all over campus as a positive and friendly reminder for students to see throughout their day, Carlton said.
The carnival also included a teddy bear drive — teddy bears were given to APD to distribute to children at the scene of car accidents or emergency situations.
Crimson said carnival goers had the opportunity to make cards for veterans to thank them for their service as well.
“The idea is to really make people aware of how important kindness is, because it has great health benefits as well just making the world a better place little by little step by step,” Kloeppel said.
Megan Holmen is a freelance reporter for news and culture at the Daily Lobo. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com or on twitter @megan_holmen.