Inspiration. Creativity. Kindness. Does it seem unlikely that recycled Post-It Notes and a fashion show could be catalysts for these positive and powerful driving forces? In Santa Cruz, California, a very special sixth grader named Reese Martinez attended the 21 Day Kindness Challenge Night at a Santa Cruz Warriors basketball game and was inspired to do just that.
The night was intended to spread awareness of the benefits of kindness and how one simple act of kindness has the power to change the world. Reese wholeheartedly embraced the challenge when she took the initiative to recycle kindness in a very creative manner. It started in February 2015, when the Santa Cruz Warriors hosted the 21 Day Kindness Challenge event to promote their goal of spreading kindness to others.
The 21 Day Kindness Challenge teamed up with the Santa Cruz Warriors to create a special night designed to celebrate and spread kindness. They supported the notions of kindness throughout the game by doing five random acts of kindness among the fans and supported the posting of sticky notes advocating kindness to others through the simple statement: Be Kind. The post-it notes were dispersed around the stadium as a touchstone to remind people to be kind, caring individuals.
Even though these simple messages were intended to promote kindness, Reese had a unique idea to pay-it-forward through recycling. She collected all of the sticky notes in the stadium, with the intention of creating a beautiful dress for an upcoming fashion show. The fashion show was hosted by fashionTEENS Santa Cruz. The program encourages teenagers across Santa Cruz County to dream big by becoming their own fashion designers by creating amazing pieces of clothing, or wearable art. After the teenagers create their beautifully crafted dresses, they courageously participate in the fashion show and walk the catwalk.
The 21 Day Kindness Challenge event at the Warriors’ Kaiser Permanente stadium inspired Reese to come up with the idea to pay-it-forward by designing the bottom half of her dress with the Be Kind post-it notes. Her dress emulates a beautiful rainbow design, which is sewed together with a powerful message: Kindness. This beautiful piece of wearable art not only supports the 21Day Kindness Challenge’s mission, but also shows off this young girl’s incredible sense of colorful style through recycled kindness. Her creativity and thoughtful decision to recycle the message of kindness proudly supports the notion of spreading kindness, which has the power to create a chain reaction in all who we touch.
“By captivating the minds of today’s youth, we can make strides that enable them to become tomorrow’s leaders, ensuring the message is passed to future generations. Imagine how great the world would be if everyone acted as this young girl who led by example, and modeled kindness. The message is simple, yet has the power to create a better future,” says John Christensen, Coo at 21 Day Kindness Challenge.
The 21 Day Kindness Challenge creates awareness among teachers and students about the satisfaction and benefits that acts of kindness can bring. The program challenges the entire school population to do five acts of kindness every day for twenty-one school days. Its mission is to empower youth to change their world with kindness.
“We empower students to take a stand against bullying at their schools; by educating students about how simple behavior changes can be a springboard for powerful and positive change – change that can foster happiness and lessen conflict. Teaching simple skills that enhance kindness, today’s youth will be empowered to adopt these practices as life long habits as they develop into the individuals they are intended to be in life,” says Justina Bryant, Founder and President of 21 Day Kindness Challenge.
Written by Natalie Olin - 21 Day Kindness Challenge Social Media Intern
Natalie Olin was born and raised in Santa Cruz, CA. Natalie is a Senior at the University of California Santa Barbara. She will be graduating in June with her Bachelors of Arts degree in Communications. Natalie’s favorite act of kindness is smiling at those who cross her path and surprising others with small gifts.
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Hello. I am the founder of the 21 Day Kindness Challenge Program.