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Tiffany Griego

Big Help Begins with Kindness

“It made me happy to make other people happy.” – Ben

“I am deeply proud to be part of the Trinity Community, and in particular, it fills my heart to see how we constantly evolve and work together, intentionally, to make our world a better place.” Johanna Mahal, TPA President 2020-21, parent of 4th grade student

During a year when it has been impossible to gather physically as a school community, the TPA reimagined our beloved annual community service initiative (Big Help Day) because we believe, now more than ever, that Big Help Begins with Kindness. Working together virtually as school community, our month-long “acts of kindness” project balanced student initiative with lessons and guidance from Kim Thacker, Service Learning Teacher, and participation by all families from Lower and Upper Campuses.

Grade 4 students shared in Chapel their intentions for Big Help Month and how to make Kindness Kits, and students from ECP, 2nd and 3rd grades shared thoughts in a Big Help with Acts of Kindness video.

Over spring break, Trinity Timberwolves focused on acts of kindness for others, made DIY Kindness Kits at home, and wrote their actions on paper hearts. Our children proudly reported they did over 1,000 acts of kindness and assembled and donated over 540 Kindness Kits to Life Moves, Samaritan House and Operation Care & Comfort. Trinity’s collective altruism is now on full display with the kids’ beautiful rainbow, which impresses upon our children that – together – our individual acts of kindness combine to make a BIG and HELPFUL impact in our community.

 

Lower Campus Director, Sue Krishna, and ECP parents organized a series of activities for the ECP students, including assembling Kindness Kits together at school and drawing artwork to display their reflections on what it means to be kind.  She said, “Trinity School has always sought to build community around our centric values of giving, empathy, and kindness towards the self, and towards others. The Big Help initiative offered an opportunity to engage in a deeper, introspective study of altruism by specifically focusing on kindness and outreach. Participating in this endeavor was a beautiful step forward towards facilitating an understanding around empathy and self-awareness for our young children.”

 

Written on our Hearts

  • “I made kits with toothbrushes and snacks, I put in a plastic fork so they could eat the food.  I made cards on top of the bags.  I wanted to make them for everyone so everyone could have food because some people don’t have enough money to buy food.  I felt happy because I wanted them to have fun eating the food.”  – Marissa
  • “Kindness can be a small step for you but a huge thing for the other person.” – Mariana
  • “It feels good to be kind.” – Erin
  • “I helped make kits for the soldiers and I made cards.  They can be far from home and could be lonely.  They do a lot serving our country, we should make them happy.  When other people are happy, it makes me happy too.” – August
  • “I gave something to a homeless man.  It is important to help people who are not as fortunate as us.  Not everyone has as much as we have.” – John
  • “I made an effort to be kind because you don’t know what someone is going through, they could be going through something bad at home or they’re in a bad situation.” – Susana
  • “Happiness is the best feeling in the world. It made me happy to make the kits because we got to help people out who were less fortunate.” – Gabriel
  • “It made me feel grateful because I realized I’m pretty fortunate and happy to give things to people in need.” – Nathan
  • “The first time I did a kindness act, it was like I was having a mental debate about whether I should do it or not, the second time it was a little easier, and the third time I knew I wanted to be kind and now when I have a chance to be kind, I say yes.” – Iris

Why we do this

“A key reason why we have been so happy at Trinity is the way the school truly lives its mission statement—to nurture in each student a curious mind and a discerning heart—and how the parent community supports these values. During the Big Help month, it has been wonderful to see how our kids experience the joy that comes from bringing joy to others.” Christine, parent of grade 4 student

It is better to give than receive (Acts 20:35) is one of the universal truths in the world, and for me, helping others has a multiplier effect on one’s happiness. The G4 Kindness Party was a wonderful way for my son and I to contribute relatively small amounts of time and effort to a greater good. I was impressed with how well the children took to organizing the two assembly lines to produce Kindness Kits. One line created a study-time snack bag for low-income children, and the other line made food kits for our US military service people. Halfway through our Kindness Party, a palpable moment happened when we all formed a semi-circle to reaffirm why we had gathered together and how we are making a difference. At that moment, I could feel us all connected – we had created a kindness community – and it was simply beautiful.” Glen, parent of 4th grade student

 

Big Help Begins with Kindness is the foundational bedrock of Trinity’s Episcopal Identity. In doing acts of kindness as a school community, we reaffirm the value of the qualities of kindness, thoughtfulness, selflessness, and connectedness to something greater than ourselves. These are qualities that we want to see take root in our children as they grow into adults.

“Big Help isn’t just a month, or a day, or one activity, but integrated into everything that happens at Trinity. The kids think of doing things for others as fun – and the norm!” – Lauren, parent of grade 2 student

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