‘Be Kind’: How You Can Join the Two-Word Movement Taking Over One Wisconsin Town

By Christina Lorey
October 12, 2022

You can’t go far without seeing the words “Be Kind” somewhere in Sauk Prairie…

On signs. Along streets. In windows. On billboards.

It started three months ago, after a local teenager, 16-year-old Sawyer Martin, died by suicide. Immediately, the tight-knit community took action, turning a horrific moment into healing movement.

Sawyer Martin 2006 2022

“The people of Sauk Prairie want to see change and we want to save our kids especially,” wrote Missy Kubly, in the BE KIND SP 33 Facebook group, created after Martin’s death as a place for people to share memories and mental health resources. Lately, members have been posting a lot of pictures.

“It’s only been a short time since the first BE KIND message went up, and as you drive around the Sauk Prairie area, you will see the reminders everywhere! This community truly cares and, together, we can make some real positive changes in this world,” Kubly’s post continued.

And the movement is not only spreading across Sauk Prairie, but the entire country. This week, a man in New York posed for a picture with his “Be Kind” sign.

Back in the Badger State, local, mom-and-daughter-owned boutique Willow & Ivy, is getting on board, creating “Be Kind” sweatshirts. They sold 160 in less than three weeks and are now making more. 10% of the sales will benefit the BE KIND 33 Sawyer Martin fund. So far, Willow & Ivy has donated $500.

The sweatshirts are currently on backorder, but you can click here to pre-order yours today.

Sawyer’s peers are also showing they care in smaller, but equally impactful, ways. Nolan Russo made “Be Kind” keychains using a laser printer and is now selling them to raise money for Sawyer’s scholarship. He’s raised $100 so far. Right now, they’re only available for $3 locally, but that might change. Click here to learn more.

Or join the movement simply by spreading kindness in your community!

Nolans $3 Be Kind keychains


  • Christina Lorey

    Christina is an Edward R. Murrow-winning journalist and former producer, reporter, and anchor for TV stations in Madison and Moline. When she’s not writing or asking questions, you can find her volunteering with Girls on the Run, the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network, and various mental health organizations.

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