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Celebrating kindness with Cardinal at Work Cares

We united virtually for the seventh annual Cardinal at Work Cares to give back to our communities and demonstrate the collective power of caring.

Throughout November, Stanford faculty and staff celebrated the season of giving and Stanford's legacy of service by participating in 860 acts of kindness during the seventh annual Cardinal at Work Cares. Held virtually once again this year, our community found meaningful ways to make a positive difference in the lives of others from wherever they were.

Whether it was providing a meal to a stranger, fostering a cat, or organizing a donation drive for victims of a fire, Stanford employees engaged in acts of kindness from the personal to the large-scale. Each act helped us take inspiration from our colleagues and encouraged us to do more in our own lives.

We hope you’ll continue to spread kindness in your communities, no matter what the time of year. You can view a list of organizations and ideas for how to get involved on the Cardinal at Work Cares website. Read on to learn some of the ways we participated in this year’s event.

How we gave back

Erika Clark
Photo courtesy of Erika Clark.

I initiated and coordinated a community-wide donation drive for fire victims of a local apartment complex, including affected family "shopping" at the donation site, a garage sale with all profits going directly to the fire victims, a bake sale and jambalaya sale, and direct hotel support until the Red Cross could step in. – Erika Clark

I donate a little bit every month to the Community Foodbank of Southern Arizona. This organization helped me and my family get fed during some tough times when I was a youngster, so I try to just pay it forward a little bit each month. – David Ward

I donated food items, games, and puzzles to my neighbors. – Anonymous

I volunteer as an emergency responder at a mental health crisis line. Many callers share their loneliness, anxiety, and personal crisis. Some are suicidal. All are looking for compassion and connection. – Anonymous

I took my neighbor to the doctor when her husband was unable to do so. – Anonymous

I organized meals for a few people in my community who have health issues or lost a loved one. – Anonymous

rescue cat
Photo courtesy of Shilpi Tiwari

Once a week, I spend about a couple of hours volunteering for a local cat shelter in my community. The tasks typically include cleaning an adoption room, making sure food and water bowls are replenished, and the best part is being able to socialize and play with cats and kittens! – Shilpi Tiwari

I do a weekly walk through my neighborhood and nearby park, picking up garbage. – Anonymous

On Monday's I teach a modern dance class for youth in my community. I enjoy it because they are so talented and smart. – Anonymous

I donate blood, red blood cells, plasma, and platelets on a regular basis and have done so for years. – Anonymous

Once a month I co-host an online session for parents of children with type 1 diabetes titled "Ask the Therapist." The therapist and I field questions from parents about the emotional burden and challenges of managing a child or teen's type 1 diabetes. We try to offer them advice and guidance on how to navigate those challenges and maintain healthy relationships within the family. – Anonymous

fall giving tree
Photo courtesy of Nancy Sweeters

The Cancer Clinical Trial Office (CCTO) participated in a Fall Giving Tree to support Dignity on Wheels, an organization that provides mobile showers and washing machines for the unhoused population in Santa Clara and San Mateo counties. We put up a Giving Tree with leaves of all the items the CCTO staff could provide. The staff member "picked" a leaf or two and brought the items to our donation box. When they took a leaf, they added a star with their group they work for and their name. Our tree is now covered in stars. – Nancy Sweeters

This past October, I participated in 21 hours of training to be a CASA volunteer (Court Appointed Special Advocate) to a youth in foster care. There's still a lot of other requirements to complete before I can be sworn in and assigned a case, but hearing from the youth panel solidified how invaluable this work is. Anonymous

I have attended protests, signed petitions, donated to billboards raising awareness, emailed my representatives, sent a lock of hair to the United Nations, and shared posts about what is happening in Iran. In hopes of freedom for the people. – Mani Farhadi

I made Thanksgiving Day greeting cards for Meals on Wheels to include in their food deliveries for the holidays . Anonymous

Photo courtesy of Ferda Filiz

I believe we made a family smile at the Rebuilding Together Peninsula event! – Ferda Filiz

I've been visiting a local preschool classroom on a weekly basis to read books through a volunteer program that my local library offers. Anonymous

My husband and I have been leading a "street gym" out in front of our house 2-3 days a week for our neighbors since early in the pandemic. It's been a great way to get everyone outside, exercising, and building community even when we needed to keep our distance. Anonymous

I’ve been putting out apple slices for my neighbor's dog for their daily walks. – Anonymous

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