How would you react if someone came up to you and asked you to put your hand into a bag of fun? A lot of students around campus felt confused as they were approached and asked to reach their hand into a seemingly random bag and take an item from it.
Ahmed Abuzoor, an active member of Muslim Student Association, put together a small project called the Bag of Fun with other fellow MSA members.
They filled a big bag with stuffed animals, bubbles and other fun items, and then they went around campus and looked for anyone who looked sad or stressed.
They went up to people and tried to get their attention by saying something along the lines of, “We’re going to report you because you’re not smiling.”
After they caught a student’s attention, Abuzoor would tell them to reach into their bag of fun and take an item out. The students were cautious and wary at first. Some even thought there were dangerous items in the bag. However, after they learned from Abuzoor that it was all in the name of fun, they were more willing to go along with it.
“It’s something nice to do. Even though it’s a small gesture, for a person who is having a bad day, it can be a big thing to them,” said senior Abuzoor. “Some people didn’t want to do it. They were having such a bad day that they didn’t even want to do something fun, but we were persistent and positive all the way through.”
When the students took an item from the bag, their picture was taken and they got to keep the item. Abuzoor and other members of MSA involved with the project paid for all of the items in the bag.
“It’s not the price of the prize that matters, it’s about lifting one’s spirit,” said Abuzoor.
Ahmed Abbas, a fellow member of MSA, helped Abuzoor with the project by taking pictures of students after they received their presents.
“At first, I wasn’t sure about this project,” said third year graduate student Abbas. “It seemed like there was an ulterior motive by presenting it through MSA. Any normal person would be skeptical until they realize that it is all just for fun, Now, I am more comfortable with the project and love to put smiles on people’s faces.”
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