Grow in Kindness Day Set for October 22
On October 22, 2014, Mayor Kent Guinn will proclaim the first Ocala’s Grow in Kindness Day in a ceremonial event held on the downtown square from 12-1 pm. This day is in honor of National Bullying Prevention Month which falls during the month of October. The day is set aside to help empower citizens to be kind to one another, to inspire healthier relationships, and serve as part of an on-going community anti-bullying awareness campaign. We hope to unite the community on this particular day each year to spread kindness in a variety of ways. It is our responsibility, as adults, to model kindness demonstrating how this fundamental act is crucial for healthy relationships. Healthy relationships build healthy communities.
In 2012, Faithfully Guided, Inc. a not for profit 501-3c, organized Ocala’s first annual community youth rally and conference on bullying. From these efforts, a community advisory council comprised of educators, health professionals, law enforcement, churches, business professionals, and individuals concerned about bullying in our community was formed called Faithfully Tied Partners. Faithfully Tied Partners aims to unite the community on anti-bullying initiatives. It is through these efforts as well as other organizations that have also taken action to bring kindness and anti-bullying awareness to our community, that we begin to work together to expand this community wide.
Bullying continues to be a social issue nationwide. “As bullying statistics indicate, bullying is just getting worse in American schools. Many studies have shown that increasing domestic violence at home are leading to an increase in bullying online and at school” (isafe.org). When we examine anti-bullying best practices, we often wonder why many of the strategies do not work or even may encourage more bullying. Dr. Izzy Kalman, a Nationally Certified School Psychologist and founder of Bullies to Buddies states, “The Golden Rule: It’s the ultimate, all-encompassing rule of morality, promoted by every religion and ethical system. Today, many anti-bullying organizations are touting the Golden Rule as the solution to bullying.” Be kind to others and they will be kind to you. By focusing on a positive, proactive and simple solution, we each can take responsibility and choose kindness. Kindness becomes the catalyst for change in our relationships.
This community bullying prevention initiative is supported through partnerships with Allstate – The Kevin McDonald Agency, Chamber and Economic Partnership (CEP), City of Ocala, College of Central Florida, Community Council Against Substance Abuse (CCASA), Faithfully Guided, Inc., Interfaith Alliance of Marion County, Marion County Children’s Alliance, Marion County Sheriff’s Department, Ocala Compassionate City, Ocala Police Department, Regions Bank and St. Leo University Ocala Campus.
If you are interested in becoming a community partner in support of “Ocala’s Grow in Kindness Day”, would like more information about joining Faithfully Tied Partners community advisory council or are in need of bullying resources and speakers, contact Faithfully Guided, Inc. at 352-512-0631