An effort, spearheaded by Otoe County’s four school districts, is aiming to create a positive culture of kindness with the sale of t-shirts.
Nebraska City, Lourdes, Syracuse-Dunbar-Avoca and Palmyra are selling the t-shirts which feature the hashtag for “Be Kind.”
The letters of kind are printed in colors representing each of the schools.
The #BEKIND shirts were provided to students 6 – 12th grade and staff in November.  
Last year, United Against Violence and the four school districts identified that the majority of conflicts occurred when students feel the other person “does not deserve their kindness”.  
To provide an opportunity for positive social engagement, over 2,500 #BEKIND shirts were distributed to Lourdes, Nebraska City, S-D-A and Palmyra schools.  
The single design unites all four districts and provides the chance for peer-to-peer mentoring which is one of the most highly effective methods of youth violence prevention.  
Positive peer pressure allows the youth and adults to construct social norms that create a culture of peace and kindness.
Traci Reuter of the United Against Violence committee, the entity organizing the Be Kind initiative, said sales of the t-shirts are meant to encourage people to promote a culture of peace and kindness throughout the county.
The positive nature of the message, what you can do, is meant to be a different way to look at an issue and is a substitute for telling people what they can’t or shouldn’t do.
Funds from the t-shirts will go toward other initiatives by the United Against Violence committee.
The efforts to be kind will continue throughout the year and will ramp up in February, which is random acts of kindness month.
Want to do more than just wear a t-shirt? You can be part of the committee itself. The United Against Violence committee meets each month and alternates between Syracuse and Nebraska City sites. The December meeting will be Dec. 10 at 7:30 a.m. at the Syracuse-Dunbar-Avoca Middle School. Breakfast will be provided. All are welcome.

Buy a Shirt
United Against Violence and the four Otoe County schools are offering the opportunity for community members to order the #BEKIND shirts at: until Nov. 30.  All proceeds will go to support future #BEKIND and violence prevention work in the Otoe County schools and community. Youth and adult sizes are available.
For more information about the United Against Violence committee, call Reuter at 402-873-8920.