Nov. 13 is World Kindness Day, and United Against Violence would like to see Otoe County businesses reminding everyone to #BeKind.
Traci Reuter, a member of the United Against Violence Committee, spoke at the October Hot Topics Wednesday  morning about the group’s efforts to reduce bullying and increase empathy and conflict resolution skills among county school students.
Members of the public can take part in this year’s World Kindness Day efforts by ordering a #BeKind shirt and wearing it on Nov. 13.
Rather than spending money on billboards this year, Reuter said the committee decided to give members of the community the chance to share the message through T-shirts.
Shirts are $5 for youth sizes and adult sizes through extra large. Double extra large and larger extended-size shirts are $7. Order deadline is Friday, Oct. 18. Visit https://stores. to order a shirt.
Shirts will be ready in early November and can be picked up at MerzInk in Nebraska City, and at S-D-A and Palmyra Schools.  
The #BeKind logo incorporates colors from the county’s school districts, said Reuter.

Syracuse-Dunbar-Avoca is represented by the green K, Lourdes Central Catholic by the blue I, Nebraska City Public Schools by the purple N, and Bennet-Palmyra Schools by the red D.
Reuter said United Against Violence began working to change students’ behavior in 2009, and they began by telling students what not to do.
The message switched to a positive “Be Nice” about five years ago, and became #BeKind after Mark and Joni Adler brought the story of their son Reid’s suicide to county students.
This year’s efforts of getting the community inolved is the next step  in building a culture of kindness, said Reuter, who added that the committee has seen increases in conflict resolution skills and empathy in their student assessments.
At first, United Against Violence’s work was funded through grants, said Reuter, but that original funding source is unavailable.
Now, Catholic Health Initiatives, the Steinhart Foundation, the Wirth Foundation, and the Nelson Foundation fund the committee’s work, she said.