April 16, 2012
East Lansing, Mich. - From April 16-20, Michigan State student athletes are not only entering the home stretch of their academic semester, but also taking some time to give back and thank people in the surrounding community.
Every day this week, each student-athlete may find a way to do some `Random Act of Kindness' for another, or participate in the daily outreach project that reaches out to those on campus and/or into the greater Lansing community. The weeklong project leads into Friday night's Relay for Life on the MSU campus. Again this season, the Spartan Student-Athletes will participate in the American Cancer Society fundraiser.
Trevor Nill, a Spartan hockey player and the President of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, has spearheaded the `Random Acts of Kindness' Week, inspired by Adalin Farnum, the nine-year-old daughter of MSU Associate Head Women's Soccer coach Tammy Farnum, who lost her brave battle with cancer back in October.
At the time of Adalin's passing, the family asked that in lieu of donations or flowers, those interested in doing something to honor Adalin - `Adie" to those who knew her best - should instead do a ""random act of kindness" for a family or person in need".
"This wasn't just something that we said at the time of her passing -this was truly something that came of Adie's generous spirit. We thought that the greatest tribute that our friends and family could pay her was to be at their best, and doing something that was a nice gesture out of the kindness of their hearts," said Tammy Farnum. "I am so proud that this will be a part of Adie's legacy, and absolutely touched that Trevor thought of Adie when putting this program together. I hope that it will inspire people to do their own acts of kindness for others."
Nill, who had been pondering a way to engage more student-athletes in their community, saw this as an opportunity for the Spartans to honor one of their own, while capturing what he thought was the spirit of what the Farnum family intended.
"The request by the Farnum family at such a difficult time in their lives was so much of what I wanted to inspire in the athletes here at MSU," said Nill. "As athletes, we get to see the impact that just five minutes out of our day can mean to a fan, to a child, or someone who we cross paths with on the street. Each of us has the capacity in us to do something for someone else every day - hold a door, help carry something heavy, or even just lend encouragement to someone.
"This `Random Acts of Kindness' week is something that can live on in years to come, inspiring others as Adie did for so many people during her battle. I want to thank the Farnum family for their blessing in allowing us to share Adie as our inspiration. While there will be a daily activity this week to help out the local community or to thank the numerous people who help our community on a regular basis. I'm hoping that all of our athletes consider helping one or more days, and will encourage their teammates to get involved as well. One small gesture can make a difference, whether it's at one of the organized events or something they do on their own."
On Monday, a group of student-athletes is bringing dinner to the pediatric nurses at Sparrow Hospital. Many of MSU's "Spartan Buddies" participants have gotten to know the nurses at Sparrow as they volunteered in the playroom on the pediatric floor over the years.