Note: The following was written by Holly Johnston, a student at Mary Baldwin College and a part of the RISE community.
It started with a trip to Chick-fil-A. We had just left the Big Love Extravaganza at the RISE Mission House and we were pumped. When we walked in, there was a one guy working the counter and he made a comment about how he had been alone most of the night. My friend Bekah and I looked at each other with the same idea – why not give him some of the brownies we had just baked that we were going to leave at professor's doors around campus. While someone gave him the brownies, I opened the door to the trash can as a worker was putting an empty trash can away. She then commented, “You girls are just so nice,” in a really surprised tone. When we sat down, we all looked at each other with the same thought: Why was she so surprised that we had done something nice? Have we gotten to a point that someone doing something that they were never asked to do is so uncommon that it is surprising? So we began to think and scheme: What could we do to show others that they are cared about? Then it hit us. Sticky notes.
Campus is covered with posters about this event or that club meeting, but what if there were notes just telling people that they are loved? What if we left notes that challenged others to get involved and to share the love with us? Armed with colorful sticky notes, markers and pens, we took an hour out of our afternoon and embarked on a journey across campus to leave sticky notes of love. We stuck them on doors, walls, trashcan lids, signs across campus, and pillars. We even put them on steps so that if you happened to look down, you'd catch a glimpse of a message of love. In one class that we know is used for Public Speaking, we stuck a “You are loved... Yes you,” note on the podium, in hopes that maybe those pre-speech jitters would be wiped away.
Within the hour, we saw a couple pictures of our sticky notes pop up on Facebook. Someone wanted to know who was doing it because she wanted to join in. We had one goal in mind when we decided to do this: That other people would know that they are cared about. That maybe on a bad day, someone would look up and see one of the notes and know that he or she is loved. For myself, seeing one of the notes on the way to class or just walking around campus is a reminder that I am called to live a life of love.