Appreciating the Little Things: West Valley’s Appreciation Night

By Avi Vieira

West Valley one n ten spent an evening reflecting on the kindness of others and the power of compliments as they participated in Appreciation Night. The evening kicked off with the group asked about random acts of kindness they have done for others, or that others have done for them. Examples such as receiving Queermas gifts were offered, which many youth reported feeling surprised and humbled to even have a gift through their one•n•ten family. This was followed up by a discussion of how it feels when someone does something nice for them, and the effect a compliment does to someone when they are feeling down or in an otherwise bad mood. The group was reminded of the power of random compliments.


The main activity for the evening involved clipping a paper to the back of everyone’s shirts, with others writing one thing they appreciate about that person, or offer one compliment to that person. Within minutes the group was writing “secret” messages of appreciation and compliments to each other. Following the activity, the group was called back together to share what others wrote of them, and their reactions when they read what others had to say about them. One youth put it best:


“I really appreciated the compliments you all wrote on my paper. It really meant a lot to me, I had no idea you all had such nice things to say about me. I’m really glad you’re all in my life. You’re like my big gay fabulous family.”


The evening ended with an encouragement to give compliments frequently, as it not only makes that person’s world that much brighter, but your own as well.