NORTH MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) — A normal afternoon in the student lounge at South Central College, as students were studying in one area of the lounge, while others were taking a study break.
The atmosphere made it just the right time for the Primrose Retirement Community, residents and staff to surprise the students with their annual Random Acts of Kindness.
The response was tear-jerking.
“I’ve had hugs today, lots of them! They’re just grateful that we’re here,” Primrose Retirement Community resident Faye Strong said.
The connection runs a little deeper for Faye Strong than just handing out Hershey’s chocolate variety candy bags.
Faye graduated from SCC with a Licensed Practical Nursing (LPN) Degree when the college was located in downtown Mankato.
For that, she knows first hand what the college experience is like and what the current students may be experiencing.
“It’s a big part of the life of all of us, and they need encouragement. Sometimes school gets, oh it isn’t really depressing, but you have to be pushed a little bit to not quit or do something else,” Strong said.
Through her own adversities, her degree held great value in her life, something she hopes current students understand.
“My first husband died young, in ’89, and I was 15 years by myself. I was so glad I had an education because I had a good job, a clean environment,” Strong said.
Strong meets a wide variety of students, but those studying from a foreign country are her favorite interactions.
“It’s fun to find out their reason for being here, what they’re studying and, of course, where they’re from and if they’ve got family there and what their goals are,” Strong said.
In addition, 30 of the 46 bags of candy distributed to students also included $10 dollar Amazon gift cards.
“Students always need an extra few dollars or something to do something with - go have fun,” Strong said.
Although Random Acts of Kindness is just once a year, the Primrose Retirement Community strives to promote kindness every single day.