ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – In addition to the pandemic, a UNM students says another reason the year turned for the worst for her was finding out her grandmother was diagnosed with cancer.
Instead of dwelling in her sadness, she decided to do some good for the community.
“She doesn’t like being called grandma because she says it makes her feel old,” says Paris McKenzie.
Originally from England, McKenzie likes to call her grandmother, “Nan.” A sophomore at UNM and a member of the women’s soccer team, she says her school year was anything but normal after a majority of sports were canceled because of the pandemic.
Then, came news about her Nan in what might be her very last Christmas. “My mom calls me talking about my grandma had bad news and that she had stage 4 cancer,” she says.
McKenzie created a GoFundMe page to help raise money to take her grandmother on one last epic vacation. Even with the fundraiser, McKenzie felt like there was something else she needed to do.
“What if I did 68 acts of kindness because my grandma is 68, in between now and the end of the year,” she says. That was when 68 Acts of Kindness was born, and it all started last weekend.
“One of the ladies was trying to grab a water jug but couldn’t get it. So, me being me, helped her,” she says.
That happened when she was at the grocery store, picking up goods to make care packages for the homeless.
“I really wanted to do something to kind of honor my grandma and give back,” McKenzie says.
In only a week, McKenzie and her friends are up to 17 acts of kindness. While this started as a project to honor her “Nan,” she says she’s learned just how easy it is to make someone’s day.
“Some of these gestures are really small, but they mean so much to other people and it’s really cool to see,” she says.
McKenzie hopes to reach her goal of 68 acts of kindness by next month and plans on continuing them even after she reaches her goal.