Virden founds ‘Positivity for Peeps’ to spread kindness

Erica Beebe

More stories from Erica Beebe


Ellen Garrett

Sophomore Amaya Virden hands out homemade cookies to students on Thursday, Nov. 9, to brighten students’ days.

After moving to Kansas from Daytona Beach, Fla., sophomore Amaya Virden is looking to spread positivity throughout her new school. Virden founded a student-led club to encourage random acts of kindness around school.

“I started [the club] just a few weeks after I started coming to this school. People started joining me when I started to make it more public and use my social media accounts,” Virden said.

Virden left Florida for a fresh start and to spend her last years of high school with her dad. She wanted to maintain similar efforts at her new school.

“In Florida I used to do a similar thing. I made random post-its of compliments to put in the girls bathroom and made nice compliments on the mirrors,” Virden said.

The club, named ‘Positivity for Peeps,’ is relatively new but already has six members. Members are planning to actively look for ways to spread happiness through the school by distributing notes and candy.

“The first project I did was make kind simple little notes because simple words can brighten someone’s day. After that I decided to make bracelets and hand them out because I know girls enjoy jewelery. Ellen Garrett and I are also making ‘compliment cookies’ and giving them out. On Valentine’s day I’ll give out lollipops to everyone so no one feels left out,” Virden said.

Her peers continue to offer feedback and appreciate her support. Junior Nicole Tran said she is very grateful for the extra positivity in her life.

“Everyday in honors world history Amaya would pass out kind notes to the people around us. It has melted my heart that she is so kind and I thought to myself, ‘we need more kind people like her.’ My friend Stefanie and I have started to write kind notes and pass them out like she did,” Tran said.

Virden is appreciative of the new friends she has made since coming to Newton and starting the club.

“I’ve gotten some really nice notes back and some DMs on Twitter. Some people come up and hug me and it’s a really warm feeling and it just makes me happy. I enjoy doing acts of kindnesses because I love to spread love and see the smiles on people’s beautiful faces. It feels heart-warming to see others smile and enjoy themselves instead of seeing people hurt. I just want to make sure everyone can find a reason to be happy,” Virden said.

Although “Positivity for Peeps” is still in its initial stages, Virden welcomes new members enthusiastically.

“We’re always accepting new members if anyone wants to join. Anyone can come up to me and ask, it is totally fine I’m an open book,” Virden said.