We delivered November 19, 2021!! :)
Ambassadors sent 1,300+ letters, videos and small gifts for "Dear Friend"!
~ Dear Friend's Story was posted in October 2021 ~
New York girl (13) struggles to stay strong after years of "social bullying."
"Social Bullying" accounts for about 18% of all cases of bullying and is the most common form of bullying among girls. Meant to isolate and humiliate, this type of bullying is also called "Covert Bullying" as it is hard for adults to spot and its victims to explain. This 7th Grader (who just turned 13 last week) became a victim of a targeted effort of social bullying started by one former friend in 5th Grade.
AMBASSADORS, PLEASE NOTE: For the first time, the Be A Friend Project is featuring a bullied child whose continued emotional safety depends on anonymity. Please use "Dear Friend" for your salutation - or create your own like "Dear Really Awesome Kid" ...whatever makes you smile, will make her smile, too!! Thank you!
~ OUR "DEAR FRIEND'S" STORY ~
"Kind, smart, curious and persevering," according to her mom, the 7th Grader from New York LOVES TO READ and to draw Anime. She loves to play and watch soccer, as well as Roblox and Mine Craft. Her favorite charities are Animal Shelters and Pit Bull rescues.
This kind girl's bullying started in 5th Grade when she had a core group of 8 or 9 friends, but one-by-one her friends began to distance and not invite her to their parties, sit with her on the bus or at lunch and would not hang out with her on the playground. Her mom says this was caused by jealousy by one girl over a best friend in the group: this former friend became the bully.
Like many victims of bullying, the elementary school student hid what was happening from her parents, at first, but when she started coming home every day crying, her mom found out the truth. The bully was harassing our Dear Friend on the playground. The bully would threaten their other friends if they tried to play with her. The bully would also get them to join her in making faces, rolling their eyes and whispering behind our Dear Friend's back - all classic “social bullying” tactics meant to humiliate and isolate. (Social Bullying is the most prevalent and emotionally painful kind of bullying.) This continued through 6th Grade into Middle School until our Dear Friend had none of her core friends left.
The parents of the former friends did not stand-up to be part of the solution and instead strengthened acts of social isolation against this child in their small town. Our Dear Friend's mom tried to talk to some of the parents, and one actually said to her: “If my daughter sits with your daughter, she would never get back with “those girls.”
Our Dear Friend tried to talk to her former friends and was told in so many words, "I like you but I'm sorry. I want to sit with you, but then I'll be next..."
Our Dear Friend still doesn’t understand why she lost her friends, especially her very best friend who was the last one to "ditch her." She asks her mom, “Why doesn’t she talk to me? Why doesn’t she like me anymore?”
When the pandemic closed the schools, her mom says the respite from "social bullying" was a relief. But now, the new 7th Grader has returned in person, trying to stay strong... but her old “core group” still aren’t standing-up for her and being friendly.
AMBASSADORS, now it’s our chance to show our DEAR FRIEND that she is FRIEND STRONG!!
This Youtube by our On-Air Teen Ambassador, Brielle Withers, is an easy way for students to learn the Recipient's story:
AMBASSADORS, WE HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO SHOW OUR "DEAR FRIEND" WHAT IT FEELS LIKE WHEN PEERS "STAND UP AND REACH OUT" FOR HER WITH KINDNESS AND EMPATHY! LET'S FILL HER WITH HOPE AND WORDS THAT STRENGTHEN SELF-ESTEEM AND SHOW HER HOW MUCH SHE MATTERS.
"CHANGE ONE LIFE AND YOU CAN CHANGE THE WORLD. IT'S IN YOUR HANDS!"
THE DUE DATE FOR YOUR "DEAR FRIEND" LETTERS IS NOVEMBER 5TH!
Friend Mail must arrive in our NY office for review by the Due Date to be included in the surprise delivery!
Mail "PHYSICAL" letters to our NEW ADDRESS:
BE A FRIEND PROJECT
P.O. BOX 30
BEACON, NY 12508
Emails, videos, scans & Google Drive links, send to: