You Be the 1
By CINDY SANDERS
Local Couple's Campaign for Kindness
While silver is a typical gift for a 25th wedding anniversary, local couple John and May Bumpus decided a better option was to provide teens with a silver lining.
The parents of two were out to dinner celebrating 25 years of marriage when the conversation turned to the rising number of suicides and violence among teens in Nashville. Alarmed at the trend, they began discussing what they could do to make a difference.
Instead of taking an anniversary trip, they decided to sink those resources into creating a video and community campaign. You Be the 1 encourages everyday action to help those with hidden issues. With assistance from Father Ryan High School and DVL Seigenthaler, the couple filmed vignettes to create a teaching video and launched a website with links to area resources - youbethe1.com.
"The teenage years can be isolating, and the issues youth face are more complex than ever," said May Bumpus. "By also raising awareness of the many organizations standing by to help, we hope to connect young people with professionals who can address these often serious needs."
Launched this past February on National Random Acts of Kindness Day, the ongoing campaign encourages both adults and teenage peers to actively practice empathy and kindness. In the glossy world of social media, Bumpus said it's all too easy for teens to believe no one else has issues or anxiety, making those who struggle feel even more alone ... even if that hurt is well hidden.
"To look on the outside, everything looks normal and fine, but if we dig a little deeper, everybody has issues. Nobody's life is perfect," she noted.
"Take a minute, stop, open your eyes and try to make a positive difference in someone's life," she continued of the message behind the campaign. "That difference could be anything - a smile, an 'Are you okay today?' - as opposed to just walking by." She added, "We wanted people to try to make a positive difference in any way they feel comfortable. We might not be able to do everything, but we can do something."
The vignettes occur in everyday spaces for teens including the classroom, gym and lunchroom. The short clips depict teens suffering from a number of challenges, including cyberbullying, stress, eating disorders, depression and abuse. Bumpus said the visuals are nuanced to allow for discussion when used by schools, organizations or healthcare providers. She added the goal is that the video be widely utilized as a teaching tool or conversation starter and said it's available at no charge to anyone interested in using it.
The couple has partnered with a number of nonprofits, and the website features contact information for resources dealing with each issue, including Beneath the Skin, Stars Nashville, Boys and Girls Club of Middle Tennessee, Oasis Center, the Anxiety and Depression Association of America, and Renewed: Eating Disorders Support. The hope is that the list of area support services will continue to grow on the website.
The video is accessible online at youbethe1.com. To ask about having an organization or resource added to the video, please email inquiries to Christian Lail at email@example.com.
"I know it's overused ... and I use it all the time ... but it really does take a village. We all need to help out on this," concluded Bumpus. "Love and kindness are never wasted."