Imagine you are walking down the street; you’re stressed out about work, you’re fighting with your best friend or you’re simply just having a bad day. At that moment, someone approaches you and smiles. That’s it. A simple smile. Somehow, in that brief second, you forget about your worries, and smile back.
The bullying epidemic is being felt by schools nationwide. Currently, 77% of students are bullied mentally, verbally or physically, while cyber bullying numbers are rapidly approaching similar statistics. When polled, 60% of middle school students said they had been bullied, while only 16% of staff believe that students were being bullied. The lack of knowledge, understanding and awareness is only aiding in the growth of bullying and hindering the resolution. Darlayna Campbell saw that something needed to be done, and the topic needed to be exposed. The phrase “Choose Kindness” resonated with her, and she made it her life’s mission. She and her growing team are committed to bringing kindness, love, and happiness to schools and people everywhere.
Read the interview with Darlayna below:
What is Mission: Choose Kindness?
Mission: Choose Kindness was established in 2019 in Vero Beach, FL when I decided to use one of my t-shirts from my boutique as a tool to enhance our world by visually reminding everyone to choose kindness in their everyday lives. My good friend Randee, and JE Stylist, has been extremely instrumental in helping me launch this campaign to a new level and has contributed many creative ideas. Having the desire to grow this mission, jointly we came up with thinking of this mission as a “relay race” for kindness. Our race is to support my charity of choice, Pacer’s National Bullying Prevention Center and to simply spread kindness! Basically, a T-shirt fundraiser relay but with a powerful message! We now have over 15 passionate JE Stylist’s that represent their city/state to lend a kind hand in their communities. We are a group of individuals that are on the same mission to “Spread Kindness One Shirt At A Time!” We believe that just a few simple words on a T-Shirt will make an immense impact on our kids and our communities! Metaphorically speaking, I have passed the “baton” to Randee up in Haverhill, MA so she can duplicate what I am doing in my area and she has passed the “baton” to Kelley in Bradford, MA! Colleen in Boynton jumped in the race and then Valaire in Kansas took off running, and so on… Keeping the momentum going, slow and steady will WIN this one friends!
What does the foundation mean to you?
MCK was just a thought that I had after I became a JE Stylist in August 2018. As soon as I saw the shirt that said Choose Kindness I knew immediately I wanted to do something bigger than just sell a t-shirt. It began with the thought of how amazing it would be to get this shirt in front of as many kids as possible. I created a go fund me page and asked for donations so that I could purchase the shirts and hand out to teachers. I raised over $700 and then distributed the shirts at my son’s school. What a joy to see the staff excited to wear them. With those donations I was able to support Pacer’s with a portion of the proceeds and this led to a huge fundraiser for that school to help their own cause. I was able to distribute 125 Choose Kindness and Kind is Cool shirts that the kids and staff bought to wear on a special themed Friday dress down day. The kindness meter was off the charts and what an impact we made on the future of our children.
What was your WHY for starting this mission?
Mission: Choose Kindness was started because I was a victim to bullying in my middle school days. I wanted to turn my negative experiences into a positive mission. If I could change someone’s mind to be kind by seeing a positive message on a t-shirt then I know I’m doing my part to help to make this world a better place. This is more than just changing lives, it’s changing a “life” by leading someone down the right path by making a better choice. “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, KINDNESS, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control.”
How do you promote your cause?
I have a private Facebook group specifically for everyone that wants to join me on this mission. It’s a page for us to share our creative designs, information and stories. I created a banner, logo and a t-shirt (thank you Jacquie) that is specific to this cause. We basically duplicate each other by hanging the banner at our events and wear the same shirt so that we will begin to be recognized worldwide! Each of us created our own MCK Facebook page as well.
I recently created a website that showcases what we do and lists all our representatives. I have added an events page and photo gallery page, so you can keep up with us. My most current addition is a DONATE button that can be used for anyone who would like to contribute toward our general fund which helps with operating expenses, advertising, shirts, community service work and I would like to in the future be able to send each one of the MCK representatives free kindness t-shirts as a ‘thank you’ to use however they would like to spread this mission. Anytime we get donations or sell kindness shirts we all have committed to giving back monetarily to Pacer’s. (To date we have raised approx. $450 for them. www.pacer.org/bullying
To learn more about our mission, donate or to jump in the race, go to www.missionchoosekindness.org
Contact: Darlaynadc@yahoo.com for inquiries.
Life can bring people down at times. Rather it is situational or rooted deeper. One thing that remains true regardless of the scenario, when those surrounding you are kind, everything else seems slightly better. We thank you Darlayna and every Mission: Choose Kindness representative; for your mission, kindness, and compassion.