Each month students in the RAK Club (Random Acts of Kindness) at Cedarcrest High School, and their Advisor Peggy Filer, head to their local Ixtapa Restaurant to have lunch. Although, this monthly lunch date is not your typical teen gathering, as these students are on a mission … to surprise and treat a few fellow patrons with a complimentary lunch! This activity is just one of the many ways in which this charitable group of high school students reach out into their community with kindness, compassion and good will.
All of the students involved in these luncheons chip in a few dollars of their own money to the RAK “pot”, and at the end of their meal, they add up the total amount of donations and let their waiter know which customer’s tab they would like to pay for. Each time the recipient is overwhelmed and surprised, and the students leave the restaurant knowing that in a small way they have made a positive difference, and hope that their kind random acts will be paid forward.
During their Ixtapa RAK event the week of Thanksgiving that is exactly what happened, however, the RAK students were the ones left feeling overwhelmed. Much to their surprise Mr. Mejia from Ixtapa came back to their table to tell them that someone had bought lunch for EVERY student at their table, which on this particular day was 16+! The students were overjoyed, as never in all of the years of their RAK lunches had their gesture been returned, and in such a magnificent way!
Cedarcrest junior and RAK Officer, Maggie Gromberg shares, ” It was really an amazing experience in that usually when RAK goes to these lunches, we are the ones to pay the meal so it was such a surprise to have our meals paid for. It just goes to show that the chain of kindness truly does exist.”
The Random Acts of Kindness Club at Cedarcrest was created in 2001 when two of Peggy Filer’s students wanted to create a program which concentrated on kindness and compassion. The girls were inspired by Rachel Scott (the first student killed in the Columbine High School shootings in 1999) and her ” chain reaction of compassion” writings. Peggy’s students, Hadley Rose and Samantha Ritter were the very first officers of this club which has grown over the years from a few students to over one hundred. Students and staff involved with RAK promote Kindness Events throughout the school year with programs such as: Make A Difference Day Senior Yard Clean Ups, a Personal Products Drive for Hopelink, monthly Downtown Duvall Clean Up Efforts, The Miracle League Baseball Games, handing out Valentines Day Pins sharing the message of “you are loved” and last year this charitable group raised over $ 3,000.00 to help build a well in Kenya.
Cedarcrest High School is fortunate to have such a large group of students who choose to make kindness a regular focus and goal, not only on their campus but within their community as well. Unfortunately there are no plaques or medals given to exhibit the hundreds of important achievements these students have accomplished over the years, however their selfless deeds and acts of compassion could fill an entire trophy case from end to end, and then some.
“You must behave as if your every act, even the smallest, impacted a thousand people for a hundred generations. Because it does. ~ Herr Mueller