Finding forgotten change in the vending machine or seeing a positive note are happy accidents to stumble upon. 

The Kindness Commission creates and plans these ‘happy accidents’ with the intention of making someone’s day a little better.

Claire Kidwell originally came up with the idea. 

“After attending a few 2016 election watch parties for both political parties, Kidwell couldn’t sleep well. She felt that there was too much negativity being spread, and wanted to make a change,” according to an interview with Kidwell for the Bear Bulletin.

Claire’s vision for Kindness Commission has carried on after graduating by current Kindness Commission president, Lucas Merz. 

Merz is a sophomore at MSU, majoring in international business administration.

Merz says the mission of Kindness Commissions is simple: to spread positivity and uplift people.

“Claire Kidwell started it years ago, creating it with the vision of spreading positivity around campus and to uplift people’s days and we’ve continued that till now, and we’re continuing it with spreading kindness around the campus and this community,” Merz said. 

Kindness Commission helped add smiles to people’s faces last semester by handing out free hot chocolate during finals week to give people a pick-me-up during a stressful time. 

“We also do a lot of posters, a lot of fliers,” Merz said.

You’ve probably seen them around campus. The fliers that at first glance look like a missing cat/dog poster reading, “Have you seen this cat/dog?” but if you look closer, beneath it reads “Now you have, have a nice day.”

Kindness Commission plans to continue  hanging up these types of fliers feature pictures of the members pets, but they have more planned for 2020.

“We want to do one called, ‘Take a compliment’ where it says, ‘Take what you need, give what you can’ and you can tear off these notes that would read things like, ‘Your hair looks great, have a nice day’ and give it to someone,” Merz said.

Merz says the organization wants to do more pay-it-forward events where they would put change in a bag and leave it in front of a vending machine so people can get a free snack, as well as continuing their volunteering in the community. 

Kindness Commission is always looking for more people to help spread kindness and secretary for Kindness Commission, junior Emma Watkins said it’s amazing what a little act of kindness can do.

“A little random act of kindness can go a long way,” Watkins said. “You never know what someone’s going through that day, and once they receive something really simple like a compliment or a free hot chocolate, you never know the difference you’re going to make and I love it. 

“It’s the simple things that matter.”

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