Gratitude: is it your attitude? This February, Hope College students put gratitude into practice during the first ever Hope Gratitude Project, hosted by the Annual Giving Team.
“We are always looking for ways to educate students and get them involved; expressing gratitude for scholarship gifts really seemed to fit,” shared HopeFund. The Hope Gratitude Project was a month-long student-focused event intended to encourage thankfulness throughout the Hope Community.
The team provided calendars to students which contained one gratitude action per day and encouraged them to lead a full and grateful life. These included positive personal activities such as “Complaint free day” and “List ways you’ve impressed yourself,” as well as interpersonal thankfulness like “Thank a professor who challenged you” and interactive events in the Jim and Martie Bultman Student Center.
The campus was brighter in a traditionally gloomy winter month. Through two events, students came together to write over 150 personal thank you notes to Hope and to individuals who have endowed Hope scholarships, as 95 percent of students receive financial aid. HopeFund takes initiative to find funding and scholarships for Hope students. Before they are challenged to think with clarity and wisdom, before they are trained to bridge boundaries and before they are inspired to become agents of Hope, they are first scholarship recipients. Scholarships make attending Hope possible for deserving students. Students given opportunities could express their thanks. One student, Annie Cerovich (’20) exclaimed: “This is so great! I’ve always wanted to express how thankful I am to people that give.”
The Hope Gratitude Project challenged students and the Hope community to balance academics, faith, family and gratefulness, among a long list of other commitments. Being grateful to one’s self and others takes a small amount of time each day and can have such a positive impact on daily life.
Hope is stronger when students are engaged with the good happening on campus. A simple smile or encouragement to a friend can make a big difference in students’ lives. Being grateful doesn’t have to stop now that February is over. Keep it going and find a way each day to complete a simple act of gratitude.