Uplift!

Our Objective

We are a team of students from Singapore Institute of Management under the University of Buffalo who were tasked with the assignment of making Singapore a better place for one of our projects in our small group communication module. We decided to make Singapore a better place through the random gifting of balloons to passers by. However, the twist was that these balloons would have attached message cards with kind messages written from prior recipients of balloons. Every person who receives a balloon would then be told to write a message that we would be able to pass to some other random person. Thus we would empower people to show kindness to strangers.

Besides these uplifting messages of goodwill, our team also came up with suggestions for random acts of kindness, which we then printed onto small attractive and colorful cards. These were then distributed along with the balloons. Through the event, we hoped to inspire as well as uplift Singaporeans with the message that there’s always time to be kind, as well as encouraging them through the visible aspect of the message cards that one can impact others in small, yet meaningful, positive ways.

Knowing that their messages would brighten someone else’s day in the same way they had been after receiving a message from previous participants in our event would really establish the impact a kind word can have in a more experiential (and thus, a more influential) manner than if we had simply told them so or given out flyers with that message.

The Plan

Our team decided to work with Singapore Kindness Movement (SKM) because we felt that it would be a good learning experience. We also thought the mission of Singapore Kindness Movement was a good fit with our project objectives, which was to promote kindness among Singaporeans. Further, cooperating with SKM granted greater credibility to our movement. We were encouraged by the prompt response by Singapore Kindness Movement and were delighted to hear that they were interested in funding our project. Aside from SKM, we also worked with National Parks Board and managed to secure them as our venue sponsor.

With the aid and support of SKM, our team executed the event on the 26th of March 2012, from 8:30am-3:00pm at Raffles Place Park, Footpath B. We targeted Singaporeans in general, particularly the working professionals as suggested by our advisors at SKM.

In addition, to brighten up our event, we felt it would be interesting to have a friendly gender “competition” to determine whether males or females were more willing to stop and participate in our cause. In order to do so, we ordered two different colors for the balloons, gold for the ladies and silver for the men. We also made use of counter boards to publicly display the tally for the gender battle in order to galvanize the people passing by to take place in the competition.

Lastly, to make the record of our event public and thus available for others to be inspired by, therefore ensuring our cause and message continued to spread well after the event, we created a Facebook page. This allowed us to post pictures of the event as well as other inspiring messages to uplift people’s spirits.

What We Learnt

Through this experience, we felt that Singaporeans were highly receptive of our message to spread kindness. It was our initial assumption that most people we approached would take the balloons but refuse to spend time writing messages. However, this turned out not to be the case, much to our pleasant surprise. Finding that the majority of people we approached wanted to contribute to our cause – actively, through the writing of a kindness card showed us that they didn’t support us only superficially.