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Marywood celebrates Kindness Week, seniors treated to Broadway in Scranton

Liz and Maddie Adams, both 21, are studying Multimedia Communication at Marywood University.
Haley O'Brien
Liz and Maddie Adams, both 21, are studying Multimedia Communication at Marywood University.

When you walk into the library at Marywood University, you are greeted by messages of support and encouragement written on brightly colored sticky notes.

It’s Kindness Week on campus. Twin sisters Maddie and Liz Adams founded the event last year.

Both multimedia communication majors, the pair host the “Courageously Kind Podcast.”

“We wanted to sort of bring what we were doing there to campus and make it something physical,” Maddie said. “We think that a lot of people do really want to be kind, but sometimes they just need that reminder or they need the opportunity to do so.”

The project expanded this year to include the greater Scranton community.

Ali Basalyga from Broadway Theatre League of NEPA said how the upcoming production of “Come From Away” inspired a wave of good deeds in the city.

“That story is a true story all about kindness and humanity and generosity, so we thought we should do something in Scranton throughout the week to show that,” she said.

The musical tells the true story of people helping people following the terrorist attacks on Sept. 11, 2001. When the U.S. grounded all flights, 38 planes were forced to land in Gander, Newfoundland in Canada. The small town accommodated almost 7,000 people for five days.

“They had to feed these people, shelter these people, clothe these people,” Basalyga added. “They made them feel comfortable and entertained them.”

Broadway in Scranton started planning for a week of kindness activities when they learned about Liz and Maddie’s project at Marywood.

“So we took the events that Liz and Maddie were doing on campus and adapted them for the businesses,” Basalyga said.

The founders of the event put together a committee to help with the events on campus.

“Our first year it was just Maddie and I doing pretty much everything,” Liz laughed. “Now we have over 20 students who have volunteered their time, they’re sitting at the table inviting people to make sticky notes.”

Tuesday was “Sticky Note Day,” in which students wrote short messages to display on a wall in the Learning Commons at Marywood.

Carrie Mayer is co-owner of Dutchie’s in Scranton, one of ten businesses getting in on the goodwill.

“I wrote be kind to yourself because sometimes that’s the hardest thing to do for me,” she said. “Kindness doesn’t cost anything, and we all can be kind to each other. That’s the least we can do as humans.”

On Wednesday, students were invited to sit in “The Kindness Seat,” face a peer and compliment one another. Businesses also encouraged customers to compliment someone.

Today is "Gratitude Day." Thank You cards are given out to encourage people to write to the people they appreciate.

On Friday, Marywood Students will deliver flowers to local nursing homes and distribute them on campus.

Tickets are still available for all four shows April 5-7 at the Scranton Cultural Center.

Seniors treated to a show

More than 200 older adults will receive free tickets to this weekend’s production of "Come From Away" thanks to community grants and partnerships.

The Luzerne County Area Agency on Aging received a grant from the Pa. Department of Aging to fund 181 tickets for members of 15 active senior centers in Luzerne County.

About 40 older adults from Lackawanna County’s Arts for Life program received tickets to all of Broadway Theatre League of NEPA’s shows this year. Arts for Life creates artistic opportunities for older adults as part of Arts in Education NEPA, including an artist-in-residence at area senior centers. It is supported by the Lackawanna County Area Agency on Aging and the Pa. Council on the Arts.

Dr. Catherine Richmond-Cullen is Director of Education for Broadway Theatre League of NEPA. She studied the effects of an artist-in-residence program on older adults.

“People are reporting a higher level of emotional stability, a level of joy, expression and creativity,” she said. “They are indicating their health is better. They are enjoying new friends and developing talents they did not know they had.”

Haley joined the WVIA news team in 2023 as a reporter and host. She grew up in Scranton and studied Broadcast Journalism at Marywood University. Haley has experience reporting in Northeast Pennsylvania and the Lehigh Valley. She enjoys reporting on Pennsylvania history and culture, and video storytelling.

You can email Haley at haleyobrien@wvia.org