LETTERS OF SUPPORT DELIVERED
Be-A-Friend to McKenzie!
Thanks for checking in! We delivered 12/17/16!
The biggest "Friend Mail" delivery EVER at 720 letters! From her dad, "We received the letters from BAF and McKenzie is overwhelming happy. She cried happy tears, so did the rest of us. Thank you so very much for making our little girl feel so welcomed, loved and supported all of the letters these children wrote. " Please consider writing our new Project Youth!
Imagine being 10 and ending up back in the hospital after being elbowed in your surgery wound... on purpose? Loving, gentle girl says, "I've been bullied all my life and I can't take it anymore."
McKenzie is “kind, caring, loving, gentle, honest, truthful”… those are just some of the beautiful words that describe her according to someone who knows her best, her dad. This recent birthday girl, who just turned 11 at the end of October, loves to explore nature and ride her bike.
This California girl is courageous, too…
In 2015, an awful bike accident landed McKenzie in the hospital where she had to get emergency surgery. She lost most of her pancreas and can no longer digest food like most people. Her “near-death experience” is also the reason why she's now being bullied… because she is very thin.
McKenzie has always been tall and thin compared to other kids in her grade, but dealing with a partial pancreas, she is even thinner. Bullies try to hurt her feelings by calling her names like “Skeletor.”
“Kenzie” talked to news reporters, Nicole Comstock from Fox40 and Frances Wang from ABC10 in California, and said,
"They call me ugly… They've said awful things to me… 'You should go die, kill yourself, you don’t fit in cause you’re too skinny.’”
These classmates sent frightening notes with expletives we cannot print here...
“You best not look at me or I'll beat you’re a--.'”
“You're a b-----. And you know you're ugly, right?'"
The family turned these mean notes into school officials, but not that much was done. Instead, the on-going verbal and social bullying turned physical.
A pack of bullies chased Kenzie home from school but thankfully didn’t catch her before her father could intervene.
In September, a classmate elbowed Kenzie in her stomach, knowing her mid-section was weak from the previous pancreas surgery. The blow landed the 10-year-old in the hospital for four days.
In October, Kenzie was hit in the face. This was the last straw for Kenzie’s parents who immediately pulled her out of school. Kenzie is being homeschooled until the family can feel confident in her safety at school.
The school district continues to investigate the bullying incidents, but AS IS THE BULLYING WAY, MOST ATTACKS TAKE PLACE WHERE ADULTS ARE NOT AROUND TO SEE (bus stops, bathrooms, hallways, cafeteria, etc.) and so it’s hard to prove.
"I've been bullied most of my life and I just can't take it anymore," McKenzie bravely expressed to reporter, Nicole Comstock.
McKenzie comes from a family of self-defense trainers and learned martial arts before she even entered first grade. She has no trouble defending herself, says her dad, but the family holds strong to their values of handling conflicts through words. They are determined to make a difference for bullied kids everywhere by working to change the way schools handle bullying incidents. "You know these kids (bullies) need help, not punishment and discipline," says Kenzie’s dad.
We agree that it’s time BULLIES were the ones pulled out of school and sent for counseling instead of this happening to their victims, over and over again!
Kenzie is smart and insightful. She says about bullies, "I feel that now they're isolating kids (their victims), but later in life they'll be isolated because nobody wants to be around them because they're mean.”
Kenzie is thankful for the support she’s received from adults in her family and in the community, but there is a special place for YOU as a BAF Project Writer because McKenzie has no kid friends in her life at this critical time. Not one friend to ride her bike with and catch salamanders.
Kenzie needs her peers, other awesome kids like YOU from Kindergarten to High School, to let her know she is not alone and that she matters! Younger kids, tell her how brave she is and send her good wishes! Grade school kids, tell your peer what a great friend she would be and show your support and kind hearts. “Big kids,” as role models, let Kenzie know you have her back, that life gets better and she has a friend in you.
One of many things her dad says is AMAZING about Kenzie is that “Nothing has stopped her from seeing the beauty in this world after all that she's been through.”
Teachers, there is one use of an "expletive" (female dog) in this FOX40 news report, linked above. Preview before playing for students, if concerned. There is a second news report from ABC10 at the bottom of this page!
PLEASE follow these BE-A-FRIEND LETTER-WRITING GUIDELINES!
The Be-A-Friend Project does not give advice, therapy or intervention.
Our one purpose is to send letters and cards of encouragement and caring from kids to kids.
449 LANE GATE ROAD, COLD SPRING, NY 10516
Co-President Jennifer Cell: 845-742-7112
The organization’s formal legal name is BE A FRIEND PROJECT, INC.
It is a not-for-profit 501c3 organization / Federal Tax ID # 84-2802576.
Any donation to the Be A Friend Project, Inc. is tax-deductible to the maximum extent allowed by law, thank you!