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The "I Love U Guys" Foundaion

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August is the month of lazy Summer afternoons, One Meaning “I Love You” Days (on 8-13 and 8-31), and back to school prep! It’s also the month for us to highlight The "I Love U Guys" Foundation to which we will be donating over 10% of all sales during August. We first learned about the “I Love U Guys” Foundation last year when founders, Ellen and John-Michael Keyes, retold their very moving story on the Today Show. Through The “I Love U Guys” Foundation, the Keyes family turned a devastating tragedy into an opportunity to teach kindness, community and responsibility to all of us. They developed the Standard Response Protocol (SRP), a classroom response to any school incident. Their simple, but profound program has been adopted by school districts in several states. We have an important lesson to learn from the Keyes family's incredible grace. Please take a moment to read on and learn about our Charity of the Month.

Tragedy Struck
On September 27th, 2006 a gunman entered Platte Canyon High School in Bailey, Colorado and held seven girls hostage; ultimately, shooting and killing Emily Keyes. During the time she was held hostage, Emily sent her parents text messages... "I love you guys" and "I love u guys. k?" Emily's kindness, spirit, fierce joy, and the dignity and grace that followed this tragic event define the core of The "I Love U Guys" Foundation. The Foundation was created to restore and protect the joy of youth through educational programs and positive actions in collaboration with families, schools, communities, organizations and government entities. We watched the Keyes share their story and heard them talk about random acts of kindness and school safety and it resonated deeply with us at One Meaning. We knew we had to work with them and have since had the honor of getting to know the Keyes and their awesome team. We are once again dedicating our “I love you” Days to the memory of the Keyes’ daughter, Emily, and all those who have lost their lives in incidents of violence on school properties across the country.

What we've done. Helping Kids. Helping Schools. Helping Community. The "I Love U Guys" Foundation first blossomed helping the heroes that were impacted by circumstance and tragedy. In response, the community raised its voice in support. From that humbling beginning, The "I Love U Guys" Foundation endeavored to reflect and encourage the kindness shown by diverse communities. Everyday Americans are not just asking, but doing things that help their community. The "I Love U Guys" Foundation has a unique opportunity to do the same. With the incredible support of a hard core, hard love community, The Foundation has helped a number of people and organizations. The Foundation’s own initiative, The National Student Safety Collaborative (NS2C), started as a separate arm of The Foundation under which to conduct some information gathering and research. The question was simple. "Can we really help?" The Keyes family explored the arena of school safety, attending symposiums, conferences and events about school safety, even hosting roundtables.

With so many individuals, organizations, districts, departments and agencies looking at student safety, The Foundation questioned if there was really anything they could bring to the table. And they found it... There was no clear, distinct, common language between first responders, students and staff.

The Standard Response Protocol - A critical ingredient in the safe school recipe is the uniform classroom response to an incident at school. The Foundation has packaged an effective protocol which fits with existing school safety plans. Interested in learning more? Click here for details

The Sexting Conversation - Kids are taking and sending explicit pictures of themselves and sending them to their friends. Text messages. Email. Even online video. Beyond the legal implications, there is the consequence of a digital picture on the cyberspace. Find out more here.

Regretting is Harder than Telling - The "I Love U Guys" Foundation is working in Colorado with the Jefferson County School District and Safe2Tell on a new awareness campaign: Regretting is harder than telling. In conjunction with these partners they’ve produced Public Service Announcements and are designing a classroom curriculum.

Points of Focus
The joy of youth is a gift given to each of us at birth. It is a gift that is both precious and fragile, and can be experienced and shared not just in childhood, but throughout one's lifetime. To know the joy of youth is to know laughter and exuberance, to be free of worry, to feel cared for, and safe. The joy of youth is at all times exposed to the elements of life. Inevitably, and sometimes very quickly, these elements erode or even destroy our sense of security and well being, our positive outlook, our desire to give and to share. While there is nothing that can be done to absolutely protect the joy of youth from all of the elements that may undermine or destroy it, there is much that can be done to restore and protect it — for both children and adults. In support of our Mission to restore and protect the joy of youth, The "I Love U Guys" Foundation has established three Points of Focus that guide what we do and how we do it:

Kindness, Community, Responsibility

Kindness - Every vital organization has a soul, an ethos. Our soul is kindness. It is the example we set, and the energy we put into the universe. Kindness is one thing each of us is capable of, and perhaps the only thing over which we have absolute control.

Community - Community is the body in which our soul of kindness lives. It is where we gather in celebration and in sorrow, where we practice giving and experience reliance.

Responsibility - Responsibility is our conscience. Each of us has the power to give, to support, and to create. As well, we have the power to hurt, to detract, and destroy. We are responsible for how we use our power. Responsibility is the energy that converts intentions to actions; nothing gets done if someone does not do it.

Emily's Parade Sunday 09.25.2011
The Ride and the ER::5K Run – Two Events. One Community United. The goal is uniting community. We're bringing a diverse group of folks together for an afternoon. Show the world that community bridges occupation, pastime, and passion. We're also raising funds for The "I Love U Guys" Foundation. We've done some amazing things in the aftermath of tragedy. It's an important message. Important actions. The generous donations from participants and onlookers are distributed responsibly and effectively toward the stated goals of The "I Love U Guys" Foundation.

How You Can Help
In addition to supporting The “I Love U Guys” Foundation through your One Meaning purchase, you can give directly to the organization at The "I Love U Guys" Foundation is very conscientious about how the money is used. Funds are distributed and responsibly and effectively toward the stated goals of The Foundation.

We’ve featured some of the highlights from their site here, but encourage you to visit them directly to learn more. You might be inspired to start some of these initiatives in your own school and community.

Thank you spreading the love with your support of this truly impressive organization. By caring and lending a hand out to help one another, love really can change the world! In conjunction with this foundation's efforts toward school safety, One Meaning shares our anti-bullying initiative Stick up for Love! postcards and stickers. In addition to our standard 10% of all sales, we will be donating 100% of the proceeds from the sale of our anti-bullying stickers to The "I Love U Guys" Foundation, as well as featuring additional fundraising opportunities during August. Don't forget that we are all connected and it is not cool to be cruel.


Karen and Ingrid


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