Northwest Cabarrus Middle School students performed random acts of kindness for each other for an entire week.
The school began hosting a Random Acts of Kindness (RAK) Week to support Gabe’s Heart Foundation. The foundation was created after 12-year-old Gabriel Jacobs passed away unexpectedly in April 2015 from a left anomalous coronary artery that led to sudden cardiac death.
Jacobs was a former student at Northwest Cabarrus and the school tries to do something to honor him every year.
Wendy Davidson, teacher and facilitator of the event, said the school started hosting a RAK Week when they learned the foundation hosted one where volunteers went out into the community and delivered grocery cards, gas cards and other helpful items.
“We hope ours as a way to honor Gabe and to remember who he was. He was a gentle giant and he went out of his way to help people,” Davidson said. “He didn’t stand for bullying, and at about 6 feet tall at age 12, kids would stop when he spoke with them. He always came to people in love and respect, and never in a harsh way.”
Davidson said many students have come forward with stories about ways Jacobs helped them. One of those stories came from a student who is hard of hearing. Jacobs was learning sign so they could communicate.
“Gabe had a heart of gold,” Davidson said.
Throughout the week students and staff were encouraged to perform acts of kindness for others.
They heard quotes about kindness on the morning announcements, shared deeds others had done for them and connected with friends through Spirit Week- held in conjunction with RAK Week.
For Matching Monday, students dressed alike and on Empathy Thursday they were encouraged to sit in a different place in the cafeteria.
Each of the four tables where they normally sit were labeled with months of the year and they sat at the table of their birth month to encourage them to talk with someone new, or someone they don’t get to talk with much during the day.
“It is all about connecting with others and thinking of others,” Davidson said.