When best friends Pinyu Chen and Brianne Vasarhelyi arrived at Carolina in 2016, they weren’t sure exactly where their college careers would take them. But while they didn’t know precisely where they wanted to go, they did know how they wanted to get there: with humility and kindness.
So, the two friends co-launched All Caring Together, a student organization dedicated to random acts of kindness. Today the two seniors, both exercise and sport science majors, continue to share the belief that kindness restores our faith and gives us all a place to belong.
What is All Caring Together all about?
Vasarhelyi: We founded All Caring Together because we wanted to bring a little bit of positivity and inclusivity to Carolina, especially through random acts of kindness. It’s always fun to do something kind for other people and see them smile and make their day.
Chen: We want to promote an environment where everyone can feel included and like this is where they belong. We should all be kind to each other each and every day.
What inspired you to start this organization?
Chen: We’ve been best friends since high school, so about eight years now. Just getting to know each other, we’re both really positive people. Around the time we both got to college, it was around the 2016 election, and there was a lot of tension and division, so we thought it was a good way to promote kindness.
Vasarhelyi: I was considering doing a random acts of kindness challenge, but then I thought, “We could bring this into a club and have other people get involved and impact the Carolina community instead of just one person doing this.” And I think as a nation, we’re getting more aware of people’s differences, so it’s really easy to lose track of why we’re all connected. Kindness can bring us together.
Tell us about some of your favorite acts of kindness that you’ve undertaken as a group.
Vasarhelyi: I think one of my favorites was when a group of us went to the Children’s Center of the hospital. We got to make origami animals with the kids and taught them how to make origami. We also dropped off a lot of origami animals that we had our members make prior to the visit. So, it was nice to be there and put a smile on their faces, and they put a smile on our faces too.
Chen: I think my favorite was when we had people write thank you letters to the housekeeping staff. It was great just seeing everyone’s excitement to write to them and thank people who we see, but we don’t really talk to or connect with.
What does this club bring to the Carolina community?
Vasarhelyi: I hope it brings an appreciation for random acts of kindness and not just big events or gestures. You can give a hug to a friend when they’re feeling down or just little things like baking cookies.
Chen: I think we have a big emphasis on big displays of kindness and affection and viral moments, but I think it’s important that little things still count each and every day.
What would you say to a student who is interested in joining your organization?
Chen: I think we would say we would love for you to get involved, and you can do as little or as much as you want. The club is also just there as a reminder of random acts of kindness. It’s never too late to start being kind.