As part of their second year module (Conventions & Events Management), 21 Tourism & Resort Management (TRM) students were tasked to come up with an event that would benefit the community. It was initially a simple project until their lecturer, Ms Ong May Leng, challenged them to dream big.
And they did. Just educating the public was not enough for the students. They wanted to motivate and influence members of the public to “Be Nice!”
Pictured left: NP students carrying yellow gerberas as part of their "Be Nice!" project
In order to achieve that, several initiatives were held in partnership with the Singapore Kindness Movement (SKM).
The first was “Sponsor a Change!” that was held in Ngee Ann Polytechnic (NP) on 27 June 2012. Hampers were packed and sold, raising $2,650 for four different charitable organisations.
The second was “A Day for Daisies” held on 17 July to encourage people to buy a flower and give it to someone. 600 stalks were purchased and love was definitely in the air that day.
The final push came on 21 July, when the “Be Nice!” campaign was launched on an unsuspecting Saturday crowd in the heart of Orchard Road. Other than getting members of the public to share compliments into a microphone placed in the middle of a busy pedestrian walkway, and having four different Co-Curricular Activity groups from NP to perform for the crowd, the highlight of the day was when students acted out five different scenarios of people in need to find out who would step up to help. Scenarios included someone who needed help tying his tie, asking for change at a bus stop, picking up dropped items and helping someone who had fallen to stand up. Helpful strangers were cheered and rewarded with a yellow gerbera.
The event was supported by over 100 NP students and received wide media coverage on The New Paper, Channel NewsAsia, Suria, and Channel 5.
Pictured from top left, clockwise: One of the students being interviewed by a reporter; TRM student, Goh Wei Hao, explaining the rationale of "Say Something Nice" to passersby; a helpful stranger rewarded after assisting a student actress who had "fallen down"
"Be Nice!" has definitely impacted more than the public's awareness of the need for spontaneous kindness. The students have also understood how one small thing that they do can have such a big impact. According to the Event Manager, Goh Wei Hao, a second year TRM student, “I have finally understood why an idea is called a brainchild. An idea will be forever stuck in your head, until you decide to take action, and if you nurture it well, it will one day grow into something that you are proud of. For me, that would be, 'Be Nice!'"
Pictured above: Over 100 NP students pitched in for the event
Article and photographs contributed by Goh Wei Hao (TRM, Year 2)