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When Sahuarita High School held its second annual Be Kind week this past April, it seemed an event tailor-made for a partnership with Carondelet Health Network.

The event, which ran from April 22-26, provided students with multiple opportunities to participate in activities, crafts and events designed to encourage greater kindness and service to others—values similar to those promoted by Carondelet.

In particular, Carondelet lists “service of the poor” and “reverence” as being among its guiding values, which they define as “generosity of spirit, especially for persons most in need” and “respect and compassion for the dignity and diversity of life,” respectively.

The Tucson-based health network is comprised of three hospitals—Carondelet St. Joseph’s and Carondelet St. Mary’s in Tucson, and Carondelet Holy Cross in Nogales—imaging centers, and specialist and physician offices throughout Southern Arizona, including practices in Green Valley and Sahuarita. A new health and wellness pavilion just south of Sahuarita Road along Desert Gem Lane is scheduled to open next year, and will offer additional primary care offices.

As plans were developing for the new facility, Carondelet launched its “Be Well” campaign. Among the more powerful statements made during the launch was an item on a one-page list of lessons learned throughout the company’s century-long history.

It states: “We’ve seen the power of compassion up close—that basic thread of humanity that connects us and carries us forward, through good times and bad, across families and generations.”

“The Be Well campaign is about more than just addressing physical health. It’s about caring for the entire person—body, mind and spirit—and by extension, the larger community of which they’re a part,” said Echo Surina, senior communications manager at Carondelet.

For Be Kind week, Carondelet created Kindness Commitment Cards, which were distributed at the start of the week to students, faculty and staff. The cards carried the simple message, “I (name) commit to make Sahuarita High School a Kinder campus by doing…” followed by a blank space and Carondelet’s “Make random acts of kindness less random.”

More than 1,000 students and staff filled out the cards, committing to perform such acts as:

-“Smiling more…helping more…help more elderly”

-“Not judging, and saying please and thank you”

-“Helping out people in need. Praying for people. Be nice to everyone I meet. Be happy!”

-“Everything possible to help make Sahuarita High School the best place it can possibly be!!” (Written next to a drawing of a King proclaiming, “Kindness Rules!”)

Throughout the week, students also sold Be Kind t-shirts and bracelets to benefit the Tanner Bell Karr Scholarship; made 1,500 sandwiches for the homeless; painted beads for the Tucson-based Ben’s Bells organization; cooked meals at the Ronald McDonald House for families with ill children; and even collected prom dresses for Cinderella’s Closet in Tucson.

“We loved having the chance to participate in an event that encouraged compassion and service in such an active way. It was great to see the students get so excited and lead this effort,” said Surina.

 

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