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AVON, Ind. — We often do not know the impact our actions have on others, or what even a single act of kindness can bring. For Avon High School senior Rey Diaz, making an impact was never really the goal.

“The main goal was really just to make someone smile and feel happy,” Diaz recalls. “If it happened to have an impact whatsoever, or it happened to make a positive mark, that’s all a bonus.”

Around Avon High School Diaz is known as the kid with a big heart who finds little ways to use it.

He writes notes of encouragement to his peers, and buys cookies every week just to pass out. One week, he bought over 100.

The random acts of kindness have become a habit for Diaz. It is a habit formed out of gratitude.

Diaz recalls what it was like to be the new kid when his family moved from Greenwood to Avon.

“I felt as if people were able to do such good things for me, so I wanted to give back. It’s the least I could do for such a kind community.”

He mentors new students and freshmen to help them have a similar experience, but he doesn’t stop there. His welcoming attitude extends to everyone on campus.

Diaz may be best known for the way he spends his lunch breaks. He eats quickly so he has enough time to put on gloves and help the custodians clean up. All he hopes for in return is friendship.

“Eventually once you see this kid picking up trash and trays every single day you eventually get to know his name and what he’s like,” he says, “Being able to be so accustom and so friendly to the custodians, and actually get to know them personally was a really really fun experience.”

While he may not know the impact his actions have on others, Diaz just hopes to make the most of every opportunity to act.

“Obviously now more than ever it’s really important to help your neighbor, and be able to show thanks to people around you.”

Diaz says his actions stem not only from gratitude, but also his upbringing. During the pandemic his mother began making masks for people that may need one.

Diaz himself is doing what he can to spread kindness.

He aspires to be a microbiologist, and plans to work for a year before continuing his education. He wants to pay his own way.