Santa Maria’s Secret Angels

Some of the staff who participated in the Secret Angel initiative

A group of Santa Maria staff have been involved in some secret business over the last two weeks. They have been part of an initiative by the College social club called Secret Angels.

The staff have been doing good deeds and delivering secret gifts like coffee, chocolate fudge, lollies, plants and warm woolly socks. There may have been the odd bottle of wine too.

Claire Logan, social club committee member and coordinator of Secret Angels explains, “Secret Angels is an initiative led by the College social committee. Staff are invited to sign up to be a secret ‘angel’ to an assigned person, for two weeks. They, in turn, will have their own angel. An angel might write an encouraging note, buy a coffee, cover a duty, or give small gifts to their person.”

The initiative, now in its third year, sees between 30 and 50 staff take part each year. Claire added, “The social club are always looking for new initiatives and ways to brighten the days of our fellow staff members and extend collegial relationships.”

We asked Claire if there has been a flow-on effect. “People have always reported that they felt really blessed by their angels and that it was nice to have someone looking out for them during that tough time during the middle/end of term. I think people also enjoy being a blessing to others because there is such satisfaction in knowing that you have made someone’s day nicer.”

College Psychologist Kimberlee Burrows explains the benefits of giving. ”Obviously, altruism and giving to others benefits our community, but it also makes us feel amazing. Giving activates the pleasure parts of the brain, and releases lots of happy chemicals, reducing stress and depression, increasing our self-esteem, and even lowering blood pressure! Giving is hugely helpful in getting us to feel more positive about ourselves and about other people, building our sense of gratitude and our focus on a purpose bigger than us.”

Cards received by a staff member from her secret angel during the project

Here is what some of those involved in the project had to say.

“I love doing Secret Angel! For me, it’s about finding small ways to make someone’s day a little brighter and make people feel valued and appreciated. We are so lucky to have such compassionate and caring staff wanting to run and be part of these great initiatives.” Amber Kelly, Year 5 Teacher

“I love the mystery and intrigue of the Santa Angel initiative. It’s a fun way of spreading kindness through the school. Who doesn’t love to receive a surprise during the day? It is fun to think of ways to make someone else’s day happy.”  Carolyn Sharp, Admissions Manager

This is the second time I’ve taken part in this project, and I’ve just loved it. I really enjoy trying to think of ways to help someone else and thinking about their personality and what they might like, or how I can make their day extra special. It’s also fun trying to drop off little gifts for them, without revealing who you are. Karen Bickerton, Marketing & Communications Coordinator

Being a new teacher at the College I have thoroughly enjoyed being a part of this staff initiative. The end of the term has been very busy with assessments and reporting. Coming to work and receiving a lovely message and little gift from my secret angel has made my day this week. I have also enjoyed planning my gifts for my secret angel and have felt a lot of joy from giving a gift to someone else I know has been working very hard this term.  Gemma Sharp, Religious Education Teacher

So, why not spread a little of your own magic around and start your own Secret Angel project? You could do it in your workplace or even amongst family or friends.

This is how change happens. One gesture. One person. One moment at a time.

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