We can stop Bullying, Here's how.
The encased wooden cabinet housed the mounted video. A third-floor dusty training room, with a solitary window offering, muted, saturated clouds, ushered in rays, from the horizontal rows of classroom seating we watched.
I discovered Stand For The Silent (SFTS) during an obligated training to accumulate hours back in my social work days. The founder Kirk and his wife Laura captivated The Bully Movie, with their heartbreaking tale. Their only son committed suicide after years of bullying in school with little help from the district.
A non-profit charity formed in honor of Ty's memory rising from their emotional ashes in Perkins, Oklahoma, a town with less than 3,000 people. Kind-hearted with love for the outdoors Kirk committed to traveling the nation speaking to children in middle schools and above.
"We all have a story which humanizes and offers understanding"
He shares his story with passion, educates about the dangers of bullying and more importantly encourages children to become a voice for those who have lost there's. He reaches the lonely child nervously navigating the hallway hoping not to stand out, begging for it to swallow her or him up somehow. He validates the quiet child in the corner singled out for being different when being different and believing that is so courageous. He softens the hardened heart of bullies bringing enlightenment somehow they see how their actions have made their victims feel.
Through his experience with bullying and sharing the emotional experiences of others, he empowers children to help those in need by speaking to someone in authority to end bullying, rather than be a bystander. The children learn silence perpetuates bullying.
I've seen hundreds of emails from them, the bully--thanking him and profusely apologizing. I've witnessed the turn around through words committing to changes. As Maya Angelou says, when you know better, you do better. I've seen hundreds of emails from them, the victims--thanking him for giving them the courage to remain in this world. "I am good enough," they say.
"Donating to a worthy cause helps to save lives"
To be different is to be courageous. Something we learn as we mature and the epitome of Noveled Leather. Celebrating difference, imperfection, and not allowing these to hold us back from learning about other people through their stories. We all want to be seen, heard, and understood. We all have a story which humanizes and offers understanding.
The feeling of hopelessness has activated an emotion or two in us all. Mental health is an issue close to my heart, having lost a close family member to suicide. He didn't experience bullying. He didn't feel understood or know where he fit into the world. Not having a sense of self, or tools to stem the deterioration of his psyche led to his suicide. Bullying often produces the same emotional anguish, and so I feel connected to this cause through dealing with his experience of death.
Donating to a worthy cause helps to save lives. $10 from every Crossbody and Clutch sold and $20 from every custom order we send to Stand For The Silent.
Donations help to provide tools for the silent through Kirk's speaking, written resources, emotional support, and information material. They help with travel expenses to speaking engagements and make it possible for SFTS to attend booked meetings.
People lose their voices for many reasons, especially if they feel stifled. Small acts make a difference. We can do little things, smiling or waving at a stranger, a simple spoken word, hello can make someone feel they are valued; they are unique; they are human. We all have the power to heal.
For more information about SFTS and helpful resources, please visit our Giving Back page.
Founder + Maker
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