An anonymous UBC student has been spreading joy and coffee around campus.
The student, who goes by the username AJazzy69 or “Jazzy," hides coffee gift cards in random spots around the Vancouver UBC campus, from library books and shelves to chairs and benches.
Jazzy began these anonymous acts of kindness in the fall of 2021, when in-person classes started up again after the pandemic. "There was lots of gloom and negativity and stress. I was stressed, too, and I thought ‘Is there any way I can help?'" Jazzy says.
On that otherwise unremarkable day, he bought his first $5 Starbucks gift card to give away.
He announced the wholesome scavenger hunt on the UBC Reddit page, sharing that "anytime and randomly I will be leaving them on various spots on campus and post a picture on this subreddit to give a hint. Just a kind gesture since many of us have been [affected] by this pandemic last two years and a lot are still adjusting the return."
Over the past two years, Jazzy has distributed at least 100 gift cards but doesn't keep track of the amount of cards purchased or the costs associated. He says that the value of the cards ranges from $5 to $75, adding that he's fortunate that his job allows him such financial flexibility.
"Passionate about giving back and improving mental health"
However, Jazzy stresses that the gesture is not about the monetary value or building a name for himself.
“I’ve experienced depression and anxiety in my life, so I’m passionate about giving back and improving mental health, just spreading a little bit of positivity across campus,” Jazzy says.
Despite the joy that the random gift cards bring across campus (he says watching students find the cards once or twice is a good feeling), Jazzy continues to remain anonymous. Not many people know about what he's doing, including his parents.
“You just do it for the sake of doing it,” he says. “That’s why it’s anonymous. I was just raised like that. You give back. It gives me a sense of trying to do my part.”
As Jazzy approaches his graduation day, he wonders what will happen to his project. Tossing a handful of gift cards as he crosses the stage, having a last hurrah with a larger-scale prize, and finding someone else willing to keep the project going are all options that he's considering.
In the meantime, Jazzy advises students who find themselves overwhelmed and feeling isolated when first arriving at university to join clubs, attend social events and intramurals, and to take the first step.
"That's the scariest," he says. "If you do, you'll find the next one easier."