HOLMDEL – The Matthew 22 Initiative is a new Saint John Vianney High School program established to encourage students to respect one another. As part of the effort, the group has adopted the 26 Acts of Kindness Movement that grew out of the tragedy at Newtown, Conn.
Established with the premise that Saint John Vianney has a caring and engaged student body that embraces the school motto of “Knowledge, Commitment, and Involvement,” the initiative’s goals are: to amplify students’ commitment to improving the lives of others; to encourage the belief that every person deserves to be treated with decency and respect; and to inspire, equip, and empower every student to create a permanent culture of decency at the school.
The Matthew 22 Initiative is taken from the Gospel of Matthew that says: “You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” The initiative’s motto is: “Kindness is contagious – take the Initiative.”
The members of Matthew 22 are participating in the 26 Acts of Kindness Movement, which began with a thought from Ann Curry of NBC News following the Dec. 14 shooting of 26 victims, including 20 first-graders. Curry suggested that doing random acts of kindness in memory of the 26 lives that were lost would be a fitting tribute. Her idea went viral and the 26 Acts of Kindness Movement was born. People across the nation adopted it and so have students at SJV.
The members of Matthew 22 got the word out to fellow students. They set up boxes and had students write down the act of kindness that they did that day and place it in a box. The club members then posted the cards on a bulletin board in the school hallway to remind students to show respect and kindness to everyone.
The 26 acts range from holding a door open to buying a fellow student lunch. The four leaders of Matthew 22 are seniors, Chris Rocca, Stephanie Piccolo, Briana Liquori and Caitlin Romanczyk.
“It’s important to do this to show that even the little things matter,” Romanczyk said.
Rocca wanted to be a part of Matthew 22 because he “wanted to make a difference at SJV and be part of such an important thing.”
The 26 Acts of Kindness is ongoing at SJV and will continue throughout the year.