For our third act in this year’s 12 Acts of Kindness campaign…
For several years now, Random Acts has been supported by a network of dedicated donors and individuals who, with their involvement, have added a little extra love to all of our projects and award programs. Of course, in our consistent effort to lead by example, we couldn’t watch the holiday season pass by without giving back to at least one of these bright individuals in some small way or another — and after a little digging and research, Random Acts acting development manager and development officer Jennifer finally decided on one very special individual indeed.
An art teacher at John R. Hummel Elementary in Las Vegas, Nevada, Emily Morse often spends her days doing more than just regaling students with lessons on some of history’s most intriguing artists and teaching them about the different mediums through which they can express themselves. By weaving a consistent theme of kindness and charity into her lesson plans, Emily has made a serious impact on both the students under her care and fellow educators with whom she works on a daily basis.
“[Emily] goes well out of her way to promote kindness to her students,” wrote Jennifer earlier this month, as the Random Acts team was considering candidates for its annual 12 Acts of Kindness project. “She teaches generosity to her students by getting involved with Random Acts projects, submitting her own art to our various programs, and through modeling kind behavior herself.”
Emily’s model behavior has paid off in recent days as well — just this past summer, two of Emily’s young students, Nick Ruggiero and Andre Garcia, were awarded one of Random Acts’ coveted Class Act runner-up awards, after the duo organized a classroom effort to write “get-well” letters for the children of Safe Nest, a shelter for survivors of domestic violence, and the pediatric wing of the nearby St. Rose Hospital. By all accounts, the students’ act of kindness might never have happened were it not for Emily’s hard work and generous example.
The Random Acts staff was sold. After stealthily requesting a wishlist of sorts, Jennifer got to work purchasing brand new supplies for Emily’s classroom, including 24 sets of new Prismacolor brand colored pencils, brush-tip markers, and colored pastel sticks. When Emily received them in the mail that same week, she was thrilled.
“I was stunned,” she wrote in a message. “My students have been asking about colored pencils, but I’ve chosen to buy other basic materials for them the last two years. I generally receive just $600 for nearly 800 students, so [a lot of times] there are supplies that don’t get bought. My eyes are teary with thanks.”
It’s likely that Emily’s students would have been able to continue creating beautiful art in the coming year, even without Random Acts’ assistance, but that was beside the point. Most important to Jennifer and the rest of the team was to make sure Emily knew how much we appreciated the myriad of ways in which she has made an impact on the community around her, and to brighten her holiday season in whatever way possible.
In that regard, it’s a safe bet that we succeeded.