From a community food drive to Notes to Home, West Virginia University students, faculty and staff are doing their part to spread good will during Random Acts of Kindness Week Feb. 9-14.

The ultimate goal,Kimberly Colebank said,is to do good deeds not just for a week, but year-round.

Colebank is director of WVU s Center for Civic Engagement, which is partnering with the United Way of Monongalia and Preston Counties for the fifth year to celebrate RAK Week.

Kindness is contagious, and one of the best ways to spread it is by volunteering, she said. For information on community service opportunities, visit .

Colebank also encouraged the WVU community to check out the schedule of activities andkindideas at .

WVU s RAK Week activities kick off today (Feb. 9) with free cookies and hot cocoadonated by WVU Dining Servicesfrom 11 a.m.-1 p.m. in the Mountainlair commons area.

On Tuesday, the Center for Civic Engagement and the Mountaineer Parents Club are sponsoring the Notes to Home Booth from 11 a.m.-2 p.m. in the Mountainlair commons.

Were really excited to be teaming up with the Mountaineer Parents Club on this new Random Acts of Kindness Week event,said Brett White, Center for Civic Engagement special events coordinator.This is an opportunity for students to send a postcard home and let their loved ones know how much they appreciate them.

Well provide the cards,White added.All students need to do is write their message and an address. It might be �€~I love you, Momor �€~Thanks for everything.The Mountaineer Parents Club has generously offered to mail the postcards.

On Wednesday, the Center for Civic Engagement will hold a food drive from 6:30-7:30 p.m. prior toSweeney Toddat the WVU Creative Arts Center. Items may be dropped off in the lobby. All donations will benefit local pantries.

Meanwhile, WVU will continue its kind ways Thursday with another cookie and cocoa event from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. in the Mountainlair, and the Mountaineer Parents Club and Center for Civic Engagement will again offer students an opportunity to send Notes to Home.

Mountaineer fans are also invited to get into the spirit of RAK Week at Fridays WVU -Villanova University mens basketball game. Fans are encouraged to bring canned goods and nonperishable food items to donate to the United Ways a community-wide drive for food pantries in Monongalia and Preston counties. Volunteers will collect contributions from 6-9 p.m. at each of the WVU Coliseum gates.

Items may also be dropped off at the following campus locations during the week: Center for Civic Engagement, Stansbury Hall, third floor; Student Organizations Services, Mountainlair; News and Information Services, 200 Clark Hall; Knapp Hall, fourth floor; One Waterfront Place, second floor; and the Evansdale Residential Complex main desk.

In addition, the Student Recreation Center has special giveaways planned: Monday WVU gear; Tuesdaygift certificates (based on random turnstile count); WednesdayPay It Forward Daythe Rec Center will give away small-increment gift cards and ask people topay them forward; Thursdaydinner and movie (based on random turnstile count); FridayValentines Day prize, including dinner for two.

WVU wraps up RAK Week on Saturday with WVU Free Day at the Student Recreation Center for University employees. Faculty and staff will be able to access the 177,000-square-foot facility from 8 a.m.-midnight at no charge and take advantage of the centers fitness equipment, pools, elevated jogging track and more.

Other ways WVU is celebrating RAK Week:

  • Students and employees who have been the recipient of a kind act are encouraged to report it to the United Way by calling 304-296-7525 or submitting their story online at . The Dominion Post will track the results through a dailykind-o-meter.
  • The Division of Social Work is placing slips of paper withkindideas in a fish bowl in the reception area. Everyone is encouraged to take a slip each day, and at the end of the week, there will be a potluck lunch to celebrate the divisions team spirit.
  • Several departments at WVU Hospitals have organized activities.
  • Chestnut Ridge CenterOn Tuesday, visitors will be served free cookies and wassail in the first-floor lobby area.
  • Child Development CenterStaff and children will hand out chocolatehugs and kissesto parents on Friday.
  • Health Sciences Center cafeteriaThe cafeteria is collecting dish cloths, tea towels, potholders/mitts, measuring cups, serving spoons and other kitchen items for the Salvation Armys soup kitchen.
  • Information TechnologyThe department is helping WVUH s Rosenbaum Family House replenish its supplies to support guests staying there.
  • SecurityOfficers will hand out candy and Random Acts of Kindness cards in the parking booth throughout the week.
  • Human Resources and Employee HealthStaff is collecting nonperishable food items for Bartlett House and clothing for Christian Help.
  • The Wellness ProgramThe department is holding a pet food/supply drive to benefit the Mon County Canine Adoption Center.