26 days to create 26 ways to give back

By Jenny Earl

26 is the number of people that were ruthlessly murdered inside an elementary school last month in Newtown, Connecticut.

Today, the University of Dance Marathon will mark being 26 days away from the Big Event in honor of these 26 victims by providing 26 acts of kindness.

On December 14, Adam Lanza claimed the lives of 20 children and six adults inside Sandy Hook Elementary School, in addition to shooting his mother and himself.

While it’s proven that New Year’s resolutions often fail — with people making overly ambitious promises to themselves, eventually forgetting the promises that were made in the first place — this year dancers will stick together on one resolution: #26Acts.

After witnessing the scene of the crime in Newtown, NBC host Ann Curry thought, “What if? Imagine if everyone could commit to doing one act of kindness for every one of those children killed in Newtown.”

Sending this thought out in a tweet, thousands of people immediately responded, committing to performing acts of kindness in remembrance and honor of those who were killed.

Starting with #20Acts for the 20 children lost, the numbers slowly grew to 26 to include the adults.

“I know the truth: if you do good, you feel good. It’s the most selfish thing you can do. Right now, this country wants to heal. I think the only thing comforting in the face of a tragedy like this is to do something good with it if you can. Be a part of that wave,” said Curry.

Each day people send in acts they’ve completed through Facebook and Twitter, followed by the hashtag #26Acts. There are currently around 96,000 likes on the “26 Acts of Kindness” Facebook and numbers continue to increase.

So, for the next 26 days leading up to the Big Event, try to incorporate a little bit of kindness into your day.

Whether you commit an act to help our UI Dance Marathon kiddos, Newtown, friends, family members, or a complete stranger, remember to honor these 26 lives that were lost.

When February 2 rolls around, we’ll reveal our final act of kindness together: the total amount of money we raised together For The Kids!

You can tell us the acts you complete each day as you go on Twitter with the hashtag #26Acts and tagging @UIDM to your tweet, comment our blog, or send us a Facebook post!

Let’s make this one New Year’s resolution we won’t forget!



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