The CCARE-Big Sunday Chill Out Express on Saturday, May 4th, 2013 brought together Stanford students for community-building through compassion-based activities on the bus ride and the donation of art supplies to the Music, Mural and Arts Project (MMAP) in East Palo Alto.
We were incredibly grateful to partner with Big Sunday, an organization that has the mission to build community through community service. While Big Sunday organized several Chill Out Express buses down in Los Angeles with the motto “Give a gift. Take a ride,” the CCARE-BigSunday Chill Out Express, modeled after the Los Angeles event, was the only of its kind in the Bay Area.
On the bus, CCARE Undergraduate Fellows Erica Knox and Tim Huang facilitated compassion-related activities and conversations about love, gratitude, spirituality, and more. The participants, some of whom had not known each other before, had the opportunity to connect on a deeper level through these conversations and activities.
When the bus arrived at an art store for participants to pick up art supplies for donation, the group purchased over $300 of art supplies. A manager at the art store, Gloria, was struck by our generosity and the event itself. She decided to donate several small tubs of paint and brushes for the students at the Music, Mural, and Arts Project. It was remarkable to see how the community we built on the bus expanded to strangers who wanted to contribute and be compassionate too.
When we arrived at the Music, Mural, and Arts Project building in East Palo Alto, we personally donated the supplies to a staff member, who told us about the great work that MMAP does and showed us several of the beautiful murals on the outside walls of their building (see below).
All in all, the Chill Out Express fostered a community of compassionate individuals and supported MMAP’s creative expression programs through the act of charity.