ASU’s Sunshine for Sun Devil Project Changing Lives

Arizona State University (ASU) is running an initiative on campus to spread sunshine through acts of kindness. They call it the Sunshine for Sun Devils project.

The Sunshine for Sun Devil project is actively campaigning students to do good to those around them, i.e. small acts of kindness. They have found that people that serve experience better health and wellness.

The people that they serve can’t help but be uplifted as well. The project creators’ hope is that they can create a campus that finds happiness and wellness in helping others; this is what they do.

The staff of The Sunshine for Sun Devil project put together a website where students can submit letters of gratitude to anyone who has helped them out. If they didn’t get a chance to adequately thank their helper, than they can submit a story to the website to thank that person publicly.

Those stories are available for perusal on the website. Maintaining a growing number of stories will do three things for the students.

First, it provides a place where the “served” people can thank their helpers. Second, research has shown that when someone expresses gratitude, they gain a multitude of emotional and health benefits.

Third, it will inspire the random reader to go out and serve someone else. Seeing a helping hand really help someone out might make them less fearful and more mindful of imitating those actions themselves, putting them on the path to greater happiness through service.

The project idea was conceived under the guidance of a larger initiative, known as the Project of Wellness and Work-life. The focus of the Project of Wellness and Work-life is to increase the health and happiness of students and faculty on campus.

Upon finding research supporting the idea that service brings happiness and health, a team of staff and students from the Hugh Downs School of Communication came together to form the Sunshine for Sun Devils campaign. Their hope is to change the attitude of the campus.

Attitudes are contagious. A perpetually grumpy student that constantly lashes out against passersby puts a sour mood on the people they come into contact with.

The students respond to negative attitudes with negative attitudes. In striking contrast, a student that happily stops to help someone open a door, pick up their books, or otherwise assist them in their way will leave a positive impression on that student, making them want to help someone else.

That positive attitude is just as contagious as the negative one. Students actually want to pay-it-forward when they receive an act of kindness.

Those that gave the kindness receive such positive feedback that they often are pushed to do it again, creating a cycle of kindness that travels around the campus. With contagious positivism running around, who has time to be unhappy or unwell?

Arizona State is in the business of helping their students be happy. Flying Colors in the in the business of building school pride.

Flying Colors provides Arizona State apparel to current, past, and prospective students alike. You can find affordable Arizona State apparel here to help spread the sunshine yourself.

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