A 15-year-old Bethlehem girl is fighting bullying one bracelet at a time.
Lauren Foose, a student at Lehigh Valley Academy, is a vocal opponent of bullying. She has shared her own experience being bullied since childhood, and in January, she organized a March in New York for other people who have been bullied and felt badly about themselves as a result.
Her mission involved creating a documentary, which is posted on YouTube, and she continues to share her story with anyone who will listen, speaking at schools, doctors’ meetings and charity events.
Now, Foose is selling bracelets with an anti-bullying message. The proceeds are going to TeenCentral.Net, a website developed by KidsPeace to provide teens worldwide with a safe place to turn for help. The site is free, anonymous and allows teens to log on, submit their stories and receive professional counseling within 24 hours, along with advice from their peers.
Foose adopted TeenCentral.Net as her charity because of the Anti-Bullying League section of the site. The bracelet sales have raised more than $1,000, and Foose’s mission to encourage people to embrace diversity and think before they speak is strengthened by the positive feedback she continues to receive.
"I’ve heard hundreds of stories, and they just keep coming every day,” she said. “Doing this has helped me cope with that happened to me growing up. It kind of gave me the opportunity to move on and start over and kind of have a freer life.”