Sending Gratitude Across the GlobeEstimated Amount to be requested from the CSF: $600
Letter of Intent:
Our project is based on the cornucopia of research done about gratitude and how it improves mental and emotional well-being. Gratitude as an emotion can be nurtured by engaging in behaviors and actions that express gratitude and appreciation for what we have, where we are, and the present moment/experience overall. The act of writing out our gratitude and sharing it with someone also improves our mental health, decreases levels of cognitive and physical distress, and increases positive emotions. Our proposed project is regular tabling around campus throughout the year where we provide student designed postcards for students to write notes of gratitude on, and then Peer Health Educators mail them for students. This is a sustainable program because the materials involved are recyclable/compostable and requires minimal single-use resources. It gives students the opportunity to pause and reflect on someone who has impacted them positively as they write a note of gratitude on the postcard. When the PHEs mail the postcards for students, there is the second impact of when the receiver gets the postcard and how that opens up a line of connection between the writer and the receiver- an opportunity to experience more positive emotions. So many “health and wellness” programs focus on students’ receiving something (usually a physical item that ends up in a landfill soon after), but our program asks students to give something to someone else that is rooted in reflection, connection, and appreciation. Research has shown the positive impact of practicing generosity, mindfulness, and altruism- this program reflects those. Goal 3: Good Health and Well-being is at the core of this program, as we know that expressing and receiving words of gratitude and appreciation improve health, well-being, and a sense of belonging and connection. This project by utilizing the United States Postal Service supports Goal 9: Fund projects that provide basic infrastructure, as USPS is a basic infrastructure that is vital to equity and access to marginalized groups, Goal 10, Support the marginalized and disadvantaged. It connects to Goal 12: Responsible Consumption and Production, as it is a program that uses only recycled and recyclable materials.