Senior Brandy Riziki made a colorful box in which students could leave notes thanking their classmates for kind things they had done. She called it the “Random Act of Kindness Box.”
Riziki based the idea on a concept she had seen while volunteering at Breakthrough Sacramento this past summer.
At Breakthrough, if a student received a note, they would earn a bookmark, which they could use to get books, according to Riziki.
“Here, students can get books anytime,” Riziki said. “But I just wanted to promote that act of recognition for the kindness because I saw that it made people really happy.”
Riziki said she had to decide between two locations to put the box.
“I was thinking about (Administrative Assistant) Erica (Wilson’s) desk, but since (the box) is just in the high school, I chose (Assistant to the Head of High School Valerie) Velo’s office,” she said.
Velo approved of the idea of the box.
“I think (it’s) a very cool idea,” Velo said. “Part of our mission statement here is to think critically, live creatively and act compassionately.”
Velo added that the box fits perfectly with the last part of the mission statement.
“(The box) helps foster that ‘act compassionately,’” she said. “It’s nice to see what other people value, and (to be) appreciated.”
Velo cuts new strips of paper every time the stack gets low, and with pens already in the office, students can go in anytime and write a note.
Riziki added that she’s happy with the way the box has worked.
“Even two (notes) makes me happy because I know that some people are really paying attention to the kindness that is done towards them,” Riziki said.
“That’s what I really want. And to see that it’s just continuing is really awesome.”
Although she doesn’t plan to make any changes to the box, Riziki said she has thought about expanding the idea to the middle and lower schools.
“I just don’t want it to become a forced thing,” she added. “I want people to think, ‘Hey, I should put that in the Random Act of Kindness Box’ and just do it.”
Riziki said she made the box partly to show how much kindness impacts a person.
“It’s something that people don’t realize, but kindness has a very big impact on someone,” she said. “And when they’re recognized, it encourages them to keep going.”
Sophomore Erin Wilson said she has received two notes and put one in the box herself, but couldn’t recall specifics.
“I think it’s a good way to recognize how kind people can be,” Wilson said.
“It’s also really fun to receive one.”
Riziki plans to continue announcing the notes that are marked to be read out loud during morning meetings and handing the others out in person.
“Sometimes I forget, but I really do try to remember (to read the notes),” she said. “I’m thinking of just doing the announcements on Friday because sometimes there’s a lot of them.
“I try and divide them up on different days (because) I don’t want it to become something that’s really boring.”
Riziki said she’s happy with the result of the box and hopes it continues.
“I really hope that it just keeps going, even after I graduate,” she said.
—By Ethan Monasa