Indiana anti-bullying non-profit enlisting Walmart's help
A retail giant could soon join the push to stop bullying and an Indiana non-profit could play a role. It's all through an anti-bullying program that started in Indiana three years ago.
A mother who didn't want Eyewitness News to use her name said she didn't even know the program existed until recently. She does now, she said, because of what happened to her youngest daughter last December.
"She was the light of my life," the mother said of her then 16-year-old daughter who her mother said committed suicide after being bullied relentlessly at school.
"It's devastating. Life-changing. You always feel like there's…what could you have done to make a difference to prevent this?" she said of the questions that haunt her every day.
"Bullying is now an epidemic," said Kim Harvey with Angels and Doves, a non-profit that educates parents and students about bullying through programs in the schools.
"Three years ago when I started the charity, I went after everybody who was huge so that we could get the word out," said Harvey.
Now it seems retail giant Walmart has gotten the message.
"They'll put us in their stores coast to coast and online," said Harvey about an opportunity to bring bullying awareness to Walmart's shelves.
Walmart is considering selling Angels and Dove's anti-bullying awareness and suicide prevention book and other anti-bullying products through Walmart's "Get It On the Shelves" search.
"We passed the Walmart test and now it's up to the general public," said Harvey.
A video from Angels and Doves about their book anti-bullying apparel is on Walmart's website. Shoppers can vote to decide if they want to see Angels and Doves products on Walmart's shelves.
"We're reaching the masses to say no more bullying and suicides," said Harvey of the opportunity should shoppers get them to the next level, in Walmart stores.
The mother who spoke to us wishes her daughter had heard their message.
"We never know what could have been, but anything that brings awareness," she said of the possibility of reaching Walmart's audience with an anti-bullying awareness message.
"I think we have to try whatever we can to get through to kids today on both sides of the issue," said the mother.
"It's going on right now as we're speaking, you know? " she said of bullying. "Somebody out there is hurting right now and tired of being harassed."
Voting on the Walmart web site ends September 2nd. Vote here.