Happy Club’s sashes encourage kind behavior

In an effort to promote kindness towards others, the Hinsdale Central Happy Club started circulating red sashes throughout the school on Dec. 5 as a part of their “I Pass It On” campaign. Covered in the signatures of past “sash-bearers,” they have been passed from student to student as a reward for doing nice things. This idea came into being after the sponsor of Happy Club, Ms. Sanskruti Patel, sent the members a clip from the moviePay It Forward.

“The whole movie is about passing on kindness, and we really wanted to emphasize that idea,” said Audrey Glaser, senior and one of the two leaders of Happy Club. “We made 32 of them and have volunteers hand out the sashes at the beginning of school and give them to people who do nice things. Then those people give the sashes to others who are kind.”

Emma Harrison, junior, is one of the people who did something nice and was rewarded with a sash. “My friend was wearing it and gave it to me after I told him that he had a cool shirt on,” Harrison said. She learned of the campaign both online as well as in school. “On Facebook there was a group explaining the sashes, and I also asked people I saw wearing the sashes at school for more details,” Harrison said. 

This kind of “viral” growth of kindness is what Happy Club wishes to encourage. “It’s kind of hard to be doing things like this school-wide, but all the teachers and hall monitors really like it because they see people acting nicer,” Glaser said. “It’s interesting because you see people you wouldn’t expect to have a sash carrying one around.”

Harrison, however, doesn’t think that people are being completely honest when giving the sashes away. “I think some of the stuff people do are just trivial things to either get a sash or give one away. Also, it seems like people are just giving it to the people they already know, not reaching out and observing strangers’ good deeds,” Harrison said.

Glaser isn’t very surprised by this. “That will happen, but what really matters is that everyone understands what these sashes symbolize and their message of being good to the people around you,” Glaser said.