LETTERS OF SUPPORT DELIVERED
UPDATE: WE DELIVERED! Mia's amazing "Friend Mail" package of 393 LETTERS of peer support from kids across the USA and as far away as Australia was delivered on 10/14/16!
Thank you to Reporter Mary Coleman and NewsChannel 10 in Amarillo, Texas,
for featuring the Be-A-Friend Project and brave Mia's story... TWICE!
Kind-Hearted, Bullied Upstander Needs Your Support!
Mia's story is every kid's nightmare. :(
Imagine being out with your friends at a skating rink, having a great time, when some other kid starts making fun of one of your friend's clothes. You summon the courage to SPEAK UP for your friend and tell that mean kid, "Leave my friend alone. Pick on someone else" and they do... YOU!
This is where Upstander Mia's story begins as a victim of physical and cyber bullying in March of 2016 when she was at a skating rink with her 7th Grade friends. After Mia spoke up, the girls hit Mia... repeatedly... until the police were called. But, it didn't end at the skating rink. It only just began on social media where those girls started an all-out campaign to hurt, demean and terrify Mia, over and over again.
In an interview with Reporter, Mary Coleman, of the local Channel 10 News in Amarillo, Texas, Mia's mom emotionally explained, "It ranges from you're fat, you're ugly to go kill yourself to I'm going to kill you, we are going to kill you ... We're going to slice your throat. We're going to burn your house down with you in it. It just ranges from different things."
You can read the mom's interview here: http://www.newschannel10.com/story/32689983/amarillo-mother-hoping-for-stricter-bullying-laws-and-more-resources#
While a report has been filed with the Amarillo Police Department, CYBER-bullying laws in Texas are not strict enough to allow officers to move forward and take action. :(
The family, threatened and out of options, took it upon themselves to move Mia to a different school this year, away from her bullies. Mia feels safer, but she desperately misses her true friends from her old school. The family is also championing for stricter laws against bullying and more resources outside of the school system.
Coping with the trauma of being physically assaulted and verbally abused and threatened (or, in one word... BULLIED) is always a long recovery, especially for a child that her mom describes as having a "very good heart, so sweet, who cares so much about others and who wants to believe that everyone is her friend." The mom reports that her outgoing, adventurous daughter who used to be happy to show off her braces, doesn't smile anymore. Typical of depression, Mia prefers to stay alone in her bedroom behind a closed door, not even wanting to play with her younger sisters who she adores.
This young hero, this COURAGEOUS UPSTANDER, MIA, needs your letters. She needs her peers to remind her of how awesome she is and how very brave! She needs peers, younger and older kids, to show her that she is not alone and that she matters!!
Please help us REACH OUT AND BE-A-FRIEND TO MIA so we can deliver the biggest package of "Friend Mail" EVER!!
Send 1 letter or whole bunches of letters!
Cyberbullying is Different...
Traditional bullying and cyberbullying are alike in many ways. Traditional bullies and "cyberbullies" are equally interested in purposely hurting their victims, over and over again.
Yet, here are a few ways that cyberbullying is uniquely painful...
Cyberbullying can happen 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and reach a kid even when he or she is alone. It's almost impossible for the victim to avoid his or her attacker. Even when the victim is not immediately aware of an attack, cyberbullies can create on-line posts degrading their victims whenever they decide. Cyberbullying is constant, not isolated to the school yard or a bus.
Unlike traditional bullying which might only be seen by a small group of people, cyberbullying messages and images can be sent to hundreds within minutes. Sometimes, victims don't even know who started the attack, giving cyberbullies extra protection.
Cyberbullies are "disconnected" from their victims. They don't have to witness the pain they're causing which makes the bullies less likely to feel guilty, so they often become even more aggressive.
Deleting these horrible messages, texts, and pictures is pretty much impossible after they have been posted or sent.
Cyberbullying "bystanders" often play a role in forwarding or sharing hurtful or embarrassing e-mails, posts, photos, or videos.
PLEASE follow these BE-A-FRIEND LETTER-WRITING GUIDELINES! SEE SAMPLES!
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.
Tell us about a youth
who has been the victim of bullying and would benefit from a"friend mail" package
Nominate an elementary or middle school "UPSTANDER" for a hero's package of
"thank you" letters
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!