In December, as part of my 31 Random Acts of Kindness, I mailed a gift card for a pizza place to the current residents of the residence hall room where I lived my first year at Ohio University. I was feeling nostalgic for finals week and, watching my current students prepare for their exams, I thought about those times with my friends in our hall fifteen years prior. Like most of my random acts, I sent it off into the world, and didn’t think much about it again.
Until this morning.
I checked my mail on the way to work and there was a letter addressed to “Current Bobcat Resident” at my address. When I mailed the gift card, I was forced to give a return address, but figured it would be ignored by the residents. I assumed this letter would be from a student working with the development office. I looked at the return address, and immediately recognized it as my own former address.
Inside the envelope this morning was a thoughtful thank you note from the residents of the room written by one roommate:
Hello OU Alum!
I just wanted to thank you for sending my roommate and I the generous gift card to study for our finals last semester! We hardly check our mail downstairs so I literally juts got your letter last week. We are both new to [Residence Hall] this year and we love it! It is like living in a hotel…
[That hall has clearly been renovated since my time there and is no longer a first-year hall. He went on to tell me a bit about himself and his roommate — their majors, what they’re involved in, his plan to study abroad next year.]
This was such a great idea. I think I will do something like what you did to my old room in [Other Residence Hall]. Thanks again for thinking of us! OU OH YEAH!
I’m so glad that two students who love my alma mater as much as I do were the recipients. My heart is full this morning — this letter means the world to me and knowing that they may pass on the kindness makes it even sweeter.