A requirement of being apart of an LAS cohort is to complete a Fred Factor project. Fred was a mailman who went out of his way to care for others mail in a way that just no ordinary mailman did. He offered to keep Mr. Sanborn’s mail for him while he was traveling so his mailbox wouldn’t overflow and show that he wasn’t at home. He even picked up Mr. Sanborn’s UPS package that was delivered incorrectly and set it on his front step. Fred valued relationships with others while making a difference for others. He felt good about his actions and these actions also inspired others to be like Fred.
My Fred factor group set out and passed out cards of kindness to people on campus. Some cards included inspiration for the receiver. Others encouraged them to be kind to others by holding the door open for someone, volunteering for a good cause, or donating old clothes to goodwill. By passing out these cards we wanted to create a ripple effect getting them spread all over campus to make a bigger impact. This in turn would not only make us, the project originators, create value for ourselves. Also the receiver of the cards would end up being a Fred by promoting kindness as well. On the cards we encouraged others to pass their card on as well as posting on social media using #cmurandomacts to share their experience.
By completing this project my group and I learned that since kindness isn’t something that is normally spread by approaching strangers and passing out cards, we were very intimidating. Some weren’t willing to accept our kindness. One situation I encountered someone said, “I’m sorry I can’t right now I’m at work.” Even though we had a few struggles along the way we learned a lot from our Fred factor project. I also learned a lot from the other projects presented in our class. Things such as writing an encouragement letter to a stranger or passing around a flower to “share the love”. I have considered continuing passing out cards around campus to promote the kindness our world needs. How do you plan to be a Fred?