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#UWSecretSanta leaving gifts for UW-Madison students

By Dave Delozier,
Published On: Dec 24 2013 07:15:51 PM CST
Updated On: Dec 14 2013 05:16:49 PM CST

It is something very simple that is having a positive impact on students during a trying time. During finals week on the University of Wisconsin-Madison campus, students spend long hours studying in the libraries.

"It seems as though everyone is pretty stressed," said Bevin Murphy, a freshman.

For some students that stress is broken, if only briefly, by a secret Santa inspired by a social media campaign.

@UWshoutouts is encouraging students to leave a small gift and a note for another student they don’t know. Using #UWSecretSanta, they are asking for the random acts of kindness to be left anonymously.

@UWshoutouts has more than 21,000 followers and 4,200 tweets. On its Twitter feed, followers see photos posted of candy and other small gifts left for students along with notes. One secret Santa left change taped to a vending machine for the next student to use.

"I was in the library and I found just some assorted chocolates and a note. The note was really nice and it resonated with me," said Molly Morrissey, a senior.

Morrissey was motivated to return the favor for other UW-Madison students. She gathered some candy canes, attached notes and left them for students to find.

The notes read, "Good luck with your final and stay warm. XOXO #UWSecretSanta."

"I think it is just the camaraderie of, 'we're all in this together,'" said Morrissey.

The creator of the #UWSecretSanta does not want anyone to know who he or she is. The person said it keeps the focus on giving and they say what this is about is something simple: showing #Badger Love.

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