‘It’s cool to be kind’ movement emerging
|By Lisa Gervais - Editor | January 11, 2018|
On a frigid weekday morning, a bunch of kids donned T-shirts and tank tops for a very good cause last week.
Wearing black or white tops, with slogans such as ‘be brave be fierce,’ ‘be brave be kind,’ and ‘kindness matters,’ they gathered inside Caitlyn Dunlop’s photography studio on main street in Minden for a photo shoot to promote a new line of clothing that has been developed locally to combat bullying.
Dunlop took the photos while Terry Mathews-Carl was behind the scenes. Mathews-Carl is one of the people behind the clothing line, which can be found on Facebook under ‘Mathew Madlyn’ as well as on Instagram. A webpage is in the works. Dulce Acero, the mother of Phoenix Acero, a Grade 9 Haliburton Highlands Secondary School student who died suddenly last May, was also in the room.
“Dulce Acero is one of my closest friends,” said Mathews-Carl in an interview. “This is a subject near and dear to her heart as well.”
She said that through conversations with her family (she has four children between the ages of 12-16), talking with other kids and people in the community, “we decided that it would be a really good idea to maybe raise some attention to just people being kinder, a kinder world, a kinder community, people being just a little more understanding to people’s differences, making the world a nicer place to live.”
From that came the clothing line, which will soon be expanded to track suit tops and bottoms. Mathews-Carl has registered the enterprise as a company with a business HST number. She thinks the fact people are wearing the message on their chests is powerful.
“Having it out there, right front and centre on a shirt, is a good idea to start a movement … the whole ‘it’s cool to be kind’ movement. We’d love to start a movement where everybody wants to wear these shirts to show solidarity and support.”
She said part of sales proceeds will go towards local anti-violence campaigns or the talked about youth drop-in centre. She said she’s spoken extensively with her own children about bullying and three of her children attended the photo shoot.
Annie Merrifield, who’s in Grade 7, said, “I think it’s really important that kids know the message now so by the time they get to high school they have awareness
about it and learn more. I think kids are going to start to want to make a difference. They have a clothing brand coming out, so they’re going to want to wear that and know they’re making a difference by wearing it.”
Her sister, Ella Carl, who is also in Grade 7 added, “I think it’s important because we should be kind to everyone and get the message out that no one is different.”
Mathews-Carl said she hopes the appeal isn’t just heard in Haliburton County but elsewhere too. “This could be a trend. Anything that can just remind people that it’s just really nice to be kind and you can always be kind.”
LISA GERVAIS is the editor for The Highlander.