By Ben Olson
Tuesday was a good day for kindness.
Lenny Hess, owner of 7BTV in Sandpoint, presented representatives from local nonprofit Underground Kindness with a check for $500 to further their mission focused on empowering students, supporting teachers and building a connected community within public schools.
Both 7BTV and Dish have been partnering with Underground Kindness over the past few months through their Dish Cares initiative to bring awareness to the cause through 7BTV’s marketing efforts.
For every Dish and 7BTV customer, Hess has agreed to donate $50 to Underground Kindness through the rest of August.
Underground Kindness Board Member Jennifer Wyman said all the money raised from donations goes right back into the community.
“We go into the schools and teach important skills to the kids,” said Wyamn. “Skills like trust management, social acceptance and authentic connection to help relieve the stress and pressure kids go through every day.”
Wyman said Underground Kindness has outreached to many schools and youth centers in the district, including Sandpoint High School, Sandpoint Middle School, Lake Pend Oreille High School, Forrest Bird Charter School, Kinderhaven and the Bonner County Juvenile Detention Center.
“There is so much pressure for today’s students,” said board member Jeralyn Mire. “Between school activities and social media, there’s so much thrown at them. We have excellent people coming in to offer tools, tips and support at no cost to the schools.”
For Hess, he hopes the donation will start the ball rolling.
“My hope is that other businesses will step up and do something similar,” Hess said. “Dish is a big part of this program because they provide co-op funds to help cover the donations. They also gave approval for another month, so we’ll donate $50 for any new customers through August.”
“Youngsters are our future, and it’s so cool when businesses invest in our future,” Mire said.
Underground Kindness is a nonprofit organization founded by Lindy Lewis to introduce young people to the practice and philosophies of self awareness, self expression and intentional living. To learn more, log onto www.UndergroundKindness.org, or email [email protected]