It’s been a rough ride these past few months, so we wanted something to make us smile, and this girl does it with her Let’s Be Kind Movement (despite school closures). Read on to hear first-hand from Rebekah, the 16-year-old reminding us that kindness matters!
Let’s Be Kind is a non-profit that is focused on Creating Student Led Cultures of Kindness on School Campuses. 2020 has been different for everyone. Especially students. On March 13th our world got turned upside down. Let’s Be Kind was in the final stages of ordering tees for 14 different schools in the NMUSD. Overnight that all came to a hard stop. Us students left our campuses with a lot of unknowns. We thought we would return in a few short weeks but that was not the case. Months later we had to pivot our entire end of the year and do things differently.
Prior to Covid-19 we had 14 schools ready to celebrate kindness on their school campuses. What was so unique about these schools was that they all fell in the Newport Mesa Unified School District (NUMSD) and we had schools that where sponsoring schools across town. It was amazing to be able to walk with schools on the Eastside of Costa Mesa and help them understand that schools on the Westside of Costa Mesa did not have the same type of opportunity to have a Let’s Be Kind event on their own. When we talked to schools about this, they jumped on board to provide a celebration for them. Having schools join together for good was so amazing. Two weeks prior to finalizing all the LBK days in our district, Covid-19 hit. We canceled all events and used our social media to help students stay engaged with life. Last year we had Let’s Be Kind Day events on school campuses with the hopes of unifying students through a simple t-shirt (see our initial interview with Rebekah here). This year because of COVID-19 we had to come up with a new plan.
After a month-and-a-half of distance learning I was stressed and really feeling the loneliness of not being at school. I celebrated my 16th birthday quarantine style and it dawned on me that the schools that were going to have an LBK Day on their campus for 2020 had kids that were also going to be missing some important moments in their lives. We were six weeks in when I finally took a walk around my campus and missed all that it stood for. My community was gone. My friends were missing and school just wasn’t the same anymore. As I stood outside of my campus looking up to the clock tower that read “COVID-19, STAY HOME, STAY SAFE” I truly wondered how all our students were doing. It was then that we decided to gift every promoting/graduating student from the 14 schools a t-shirt to congratulate them on their achievements. We were able to raise enough funds to gift 1200 tees to 6th, 8th and 12th graders that where graduating or promoting. Because of Covid-19, my school was not going to be able to distribute the t-shirts to our 8th graders or 12th graders so we partnered with a local coffee shop, BUENAS COFFEE, to make the t-shirts available to any graduating student from Costa Mesa High School and any promoting student from Costa Mesa Middle School. It was such a fun two days as we were able to tell people about the new coffee shop in our city and hand out free t-shirts. If you are a student that has graduated from high school, or an 8th grader that promoted to high school, or a 6th grader that promoted to middle and you would like a tee, please email us and we will drop off or mail you a tee (while supplies last)!
Kindness to me is the way you treat not only the people you know, but also the people you don’t know with respect, and to devote yourself to making that person feel like they matter. I reminded myself of this as I worked to bring kindness to students who had not been on their school campuses. LBK has been part of the change happening on school campuses, to be more inclusive. A good story that I like to talk about is that one day we heard that there was a fight on the middle school side of my campus and an eighth grader broke it up. When asked why he stepped in to break up the fight he said “this is not what we do here.” Because of our LBK events, the community at large knows Let’s Be Kind. They know we are about inclusion. We see people wearing the t-shirts all around our city. We know that as students get a t-shirt from school, they take it home. There they are asked about the t-shirt and families begin to talk about kindness in the home. When families understand the message it naturally reaches their neighborhoods and our city begins to change. I like saying that “once you have seen the t-shirt you can’t unsee it”, if you are looking for kindness in our city just look for someone wearing the t-shirt.
Finally, I would just like to say that kindness isn’t just something I can spread, but it can be spread by anyone anywhere. We chose the words Let’s Be Kind because it means that it’s not just one person showing kindness to one person, it is all of us as a collective community being kind to ourselves and to each other. And no dream or ambition is too small to spread kindness. You don’t need to have this huge idea to be able to spread kindness. It can just be as simple as inviting someone to eat with you during lunch, opening a door for someone, or smiling at them. We designed Let’s Be Kind for any person to share a tee. Right now people need a touch of encouragement and we are encouraging our community to buy a tee and send a tee. Your friends need to hear from you and what better way to join our movement.
**SPECIAL DISCOUNT: USE CODE NPMOMS FOR 15% OFF YOUR ORDER NOW UNTIL JULY 31, 2020.**
JOIN THE MOVEMENT:.
- Buy a tee / Give a tee and tag us (help spread awareness)
- Bring it to a campus (if you are a parent, student, teacher, part of the PTA/PFO, or you just care about a local school, bring a Let’s Be Kind Day event to your school campus, info at www.letsbekind.org)
- Become a partner sponsor (if you are a business or individual who would like to reach your community with kindness, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org)