Updated: Mar 7
Giftiply’s goal is dependent on creating connections between our amazing partners and our readers, customers, and those looking to join important causes. Foundational and truly life-changing, Stand for the Silent is an incredible anti-bullying organization that works with students, teachers, and parents alike to stamp out peer-to-peer cruelty. Stand for the Silent works to create positive spaces where kids and teens can learn and socialize safely. We are so proud to call them our partners. October is Bullying Prevention Month, the perfect time to feature this amazing organization. Let’s take a closer look at SFTS:
The Stand for the Silent Story
Kirk Smalley, President of Stand for the Silent, shares with us the origin of this organization's mission:
“Stand for the Silent began after we lost our eleven-year-old son Ty to suicide due to being bullied in school. Our mission is to raise awareness of the devastating effects of bullying and youth suicide” -Kirk Smalley
In their logo, the T and S are an aquamarine color, setting them apart from the otherwise white text. This eye-catching design choice has a much deeper meaning. I had the opportunity to sit down with Peter Goodman, Director of Partnerships & Technology for Stand for the Silent. He shared with me the story of Kirk and Laura Smalley, and their son Ty.
“The TS is for Ty Smalley: a reminder that out of great tragedy can come tremendous positive change.” - Peter Goodman
We would encourage you to check out the About Us page on the Stand for the Silent website. Kirk and Laura lost their son to bullying. Ever since, they have been doing everything in their power to prevent further loss in their community and all across the country. It’s not just about raising awareness for bullying, it’s about providing students and teachers the tools they need to put a stop to it.
The Stand for the Silent Mission is to change the lives of kids of all ages by bringing awareness to the devastation bullying can cause, while offering practical solutions for change.
Programs that Make a Difference
Kirk Smalley travels the country to share his story and the life-changing message it holds. His presentation series has visited over 5000 schools and touched the lives of well over three million students. His story lives in the hearts of all those who listen, acting as a reminder of the impact even small decisions can have.
This speaker series has evolved, growing in strength with the addition of local chapters. There are over 200 of these chapters worldwide: A grassroots method of spreading the message and keeping the conversation going.
The biggest difference between Stand for the Silent and other anti-bullying campaigns/organizations is the level of peer involvement. It is so much easier for students to learn from each other than it is to learn from an adult. These peers speak the language, they know how to draw helpful comparisons and are deeply plugged into what will connect with their fellow students. Teens are not to be underestimated, both in their capacity to help and hurt. That’s why connecting at the source of bullying and poor peer-to-peer treatment is so important.
“It’s amazing to see what these kids are capable of. They are so incredibly smart, kind, and compassionate. There is a strength and intelligence that kids possess that cannot be overlooked.” - Peter Goodman
Social Bullets is the Stand for the Silent’s reaction to cyberbullying. As students are more immersed than ever in online culture and social media; it’s no wonder that bullying has changed with the landscape. It’s easier to be cruel on the internet, hidden behind a nameless account, or where it feels like you can’t get caught. It’s not any less because it’s online. Social Bullets is a hands-on guide to the prevention of cyberbullying, created in part by peers who have experienced it.
This program offers engaging solutions while forcing those who might otherwise look away to face the reality of the dangers of social media. It IS hard to look at, it’s difficult to watch. But if you never confront it, how will you ever be able to help?
Giftiply’s wrapping paper design for Stand for the Silent is titled: Lockers of Love. This vibrant design showcases what a supportive school hallway looks like when filled with love, compassion, and empathy. One of the lockers is inscribed with the words: I am Not Alone. This message can be found on the SFTS website: a collection of messages written by students who want to share their stories. It’s a place to truly recognize there is an entire community behind you.
Another locker states: I am Somebody - A message of love at the core of the SFTS programs.
Over 90% of Students Believe They Are Somebody
Over 95% of Students Are Willing To Be A Hero For Somebody
This bright and colorful design, created by Chloe Pearson, promotes inclusivity and love in every locker! Personally, I love that some lockers are closed, and others are open. It’s okay to be both.
If you love this beautiful artwork as much as we do, and would like to support Stand for the Silent, this wrapping paper can be purchased here. If you’d like to make an additional donation to SFTS, slide right to customize your donation amount.
We are pleased to announce our second design created in partnership with Stand for the Silent: Recess All for One. This fun-loving pattern brings elements of teamwork, encouragement, and the tools of joyful play to the playground. Patterned with technicolor games, sports, and positive messages, this uplifting design is sure to bring the party to any occasion! Check it out HERE!
How You Can Help
Do Your Research - The average person probably doesn’t know the severity of bullying as a widespread issue. Learning more about the problems our students face is a great step to understanding how you can help.
Listen to Students Directly - It can be hard to instigate a conversation about bullying, especially if you’re an adult. Stand for the Silent offers tools to help with that transition. Coming from a place of love and LISTENING will help to break down barriers.
Backpack Initiatives - SFTS organizes backpack drives, initiatives to collect backpacks, school supplies, and even hygiene products for kids in need. These kinds of drives are prevalent every year when back-to-school rolls around. Taking the time to curate a bag like this is direct action, making a direct impact on a student’s day to day.
Watch for Warning Signs - For parents and teachers, keep an active eye on the kids in your life. Watch for sudden changes of all kinds. It’s not only important to watch for signs of being bullied, but also for signs that the child in your life has become a bully. No one wants to think it could be their kid, but it’s always someone’s kid.
Share Your Story - Your story could make someone you love feel less alone. It could comfort a stranger, someone going through the same struggles you have faced. You never know what might make all the difference in the world.
Thank you for reading! We hope that you’ve enjoyed learning more about Stand for the Silent. We encourage you to check out their website to take a deeper dive into their programs and the stories of so many positively affected students. Be somebody for somebody.