When students checked their mail on March 17, some of them might have been surprised to see a green stick of candy and a card telling them that they had been given “March Gladness.”
The idea began in the Fannin Ministry Center with Chaplain Tim Wright. For every remaining weekday in March, around 100 students will be given a gift either in their mailbox or through a giveaway.
“Basically the idea is just do something nice for somebody, share a little bit of joy, do something nice for them, and then just say ‘Hey, something nice happened to you, maybe you do something nice for somebody else,’” Wright said.
The idea began when Wright saw that Brad Montague, one of the creators of the “Kid President” videos that Wright had met at the Love Does Conference last May, tweeted #marchgladness.
Wright thought that it was a clever take on March Madness, and decided to do something on campus. He met with his staff and discussed possible ideas. By the end of the week of March 15, they had several ideas and had the cards, designed by Associate Chaplain Bryant Manning.
“Some of the ideas we’re going to do came directly from the students,” Wright said. “Things that I wouldn’t even have thought of.”
March Gladness began on St. Patrick’s Day, hence the green stick of candy. One hundred and ten cards and sticks of candy were put into student mailboxes.
The card that came with the candy encouraged students to tweet about the surprises using #fscmarchgladness. Manning said it was a way for students to know what was happening, encourage them to do something nice for someone else and to share their thoughts on Twitter.
“We had a couple of tweets just of excitement that they’d got something,” Manning said. “Everybody likes getting something in their mailbox.”
The plan is to hand things out as well so that the entire student population of FSC can be included.
“We’ve got a couple of creative things, not to give anything away yet,” Wright said.
Despite any creative forays, at the heart of March Gladness are two simple goals: brightening someone’s day with an unexpected surprise and to “share joy” around campus.
“If it makes somebody’s day, that’s great,” Wright said. “I would love it if, maybe a person’s having a hard day and they open their mailbox and there’s something in there, kinda put a smile on their face.”
While “March Gladness” is still in its early stages, if it succeeds the Fannin Ministry Center and Campus Ministries might end up repeating it next year.
As for this year, make sure to check your mailbox for the remainder of the month, and keep an eye on the Fannin Ministry Center. You just might receive a little “March Gladness” yourself.