Students gathered at a Tuesday night meeting writing positive messages on sticky notes to put up around campus. (Photo Courtesy of TCU Impact of Words)
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Students have been able to come together and spread small acts of kindness across campus by bringing awareness to mental health through Impact of Words, an organization entering its second semester on campus.

“A lot of people struggle at TCU with finding a group or an organization that they feel comfortable coming to,” said Jackson Donaldson, Impact of Words president and sophomore marketing major. “I wanted to be able to provide an organization that people can come to every Tuesday and they can destress. It’s fun when they walk in the door and can find people they know. We usually try to have people meet someone new each week so you are gaining more friends as you come longer. You are not only getting to know someone, but you are doing good while getting to know someone. A lot of people find close friendships within Impact of Words.”

Donaldson stressed the importance of finding lifelong friendships through Impact Words and how the organization can provide a safe place for all students.

Read more: Impact of Words student organization delivers smiles on sticky notes

“The goal of it is to not necessarily solve mental health, it is to raise awareness and focus on the idea that there are things to be grateful for,” said Donaldson. “Life is so much greater than the stress or anxiety you are feeling right now.”

Organization members prep for Impact of Words week. (Photo Courtesy of TCU Impact of Words)

In conjunction with activities to raise awareness, TCU Impact of Words also puts on fundraisers for the cause. Last semester, the organization created “Glad You’re Here” t-shirts and sold them to TCU students. Donaldson and his team had over 740 people sign up for t-shirts. Impact of Words raised $10,000 and donated $4,000 of that to an organization called “Keep the Spark Alive”.

Keep the Spark Alive is an organization dedicated to Chad Harrell, a friend and fellow high school lacrosse teammate of Donaldson’s. Harrell took his own life in 2017. His parents created the “Keep the Spark Alive” Foundation (KTSA) in his honor. The name pays homage to Harrell’s lacrosse nickname, “Spark Plug.”

KTSA was originally created to provide scholarships for fellow lacrosse players, but it has since developed into an organization determined to prevent teen suicide.

Donaldson started Impact of Words during his junior year of high school in Leeward, Kansas.

“I’ve realized that a lot of people were moving past what happened and that is such a scary thing for someone to feel so low about themselves,” said Donaldson. “I want to find a way to spread positivity so that people feel cared for, valued and loved in their community. I think about Impact of Words and if Chad would still be here today if he felt valued and cared for in the manner that we are trying to express. I’m not sure of the answer, but I think that is what is constantly pushing me towards what we are doing.”

TCU Impact of Words has been donating all the money that they have raised to KTSA.

“It’s a full 360 moment for us,” said Donaldson.

Today, the organization has over 130 members signed up on TCU Engage. To get in contact with the organization, reach out to its official Instagram: @tcuimpactofwords.

“Instagram is really big for us because we are trying to market people to come to meanings,” said Donaldson. “Social media is such an interesting place for a lot of anxiety and depression to foster.”

Donaldson said the organization posts positive things to make people feel better about themselves rather than worse while they’re scrolling through their feed.

“We try to encourage people to follow us [on social media] because we want people to have some positivity in their life,” Donaldson said.

Impact of Words meets on Tuesday nights from 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. in the BLUU private dining room east.

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