BIG ROCK – The message is simple: Be Kind. Be Nice.
The slogan is part of the Kindness Campaign 2013, a community effort to spread goodwill throughout the Kaneland area.
Through community partners such as churches, libraries, schools, police departments and other organizations, those behind the campaign say they hope their message becomes contagious.
“The great thing is how many organizations we’re connecting,” said campaign organizer Brenda Johnson as she watched the first big Kindness Campaign project come together Monday. “We started this thing, and it just started taking on a life of its own.”
Kaneland-area Girl Scouts are among many community partners involved with the Kindness Campaign. Several troops were at Camp Dean in Big Rock for their Cookie Camp-Cation on Monday to celebrate meeting this year’s cookie sales and membership goals.
One of the activities was making Kindness Campaign banners by tracing their hands on paper and writing down what kindness means to them.
The banners will hang at various locations, including the Sugar Grove Jewel-Osco.
Some girls wrote phrases such as “one person can change anything,” and words such as “forgiveness” and “friendship.”
Other groups that have been heavily involved in the campaign include the Maple Park Police Department, the Elburn Lions Club and the Changing Children’s Worlds Foundation.
“We don’t want the focus to be on the bullying,” Johnson said. “The focus is on what we really want to see a change in and getting the kids to focus on that.”
Johnson said the Kindness Campaign was inspired by the Knights Against Bullying group, which is a group of Kaneland parents concerned about bullying.
The campaign is being hosted by the nonprofit Promoting Enrichment and Kindness for Kids Inc., said Renee Dee, who founded the organization.
As part of the Kindness Campaign, Johnson said the group is looking forward to bringing Rachel’s Challenge to Kaneland Harter Middle School on Oct. 1.
Rachel Scott was killed in the 1999 Columbine High School shooting, and Rachel’s Challenge is about creating a culture of kindness.
To learn more about the Kindness Campaign 2013, visit its booth at Elburn Days from Aug. 16 to 18.