Friendship Awareness Month

I think the time has come to realize that we no longer need *Bullying Awareness Month, because we are more aware than ever that bullying exists. Most recently, it has led to the untimely and most unfortunate death by suicide of a 9 year old (Jackson Grubb) and 13 year old (Daniel Fitzpatrick) boy.

Starting this year (2016), I suggest that we re-name October from “National Bullying Prevention Month”, to “Friendship Awareness Month”.  

At Friend Movement we are shifting the conversation from “anti-bully” to “pro-friendship”, working to prevent victimizing behavior, building self-love/confidence, removing the blame game, focusing on the positive, and finding solutions together as a community. After all, what we focus on expands. So, if we continue to focus on the problem and treat the bullies like villains, then the problem only can get worse. Instead, let’s work together to have a conversation about how we are communicating with one another, what our needs are, and how best to heal through love and acts of friendship.

I hope you’ll enjoy the following interview I did with “Laughing Eddie” Lobo on The Left of Str8 Show/Scott Fullerton (Start at 20 Minutes):

*In 2010, the fifth annual event grew from a week to a month with October designated National Bullying Prevention Month which unites communities nationwide to raise awareness of bullying prevention. The event is expanded to include free, downloadable activities, education, and awareness building for the entire month and the message is realigned to engage, educate and inspire other to join the movement. Educators, students, families, and individuals who care about students access the tools to address bullying in their school, recreational program, and community organizations. Over 700 partners and champions joined PACER Center against bullying join the cause. Yahoo! Kids features the campaign on their site for the third year and Facebook, Demi Lovato and PACER partner to reach millions on a cyberbullying prevention message. The month is featured on CNN’s Anderson Coopers Town Hall meetings. Ellen DeGeneres lists PACER Center as a bullying prevention resource on her website along with several other national media resources, such as CNN.com.

Hearts for Haikus

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Thank you to everyone that participated in my Hearts for Haikus promotion! Your poems about friendship were truly beautiful to read. I wish I could give all of you hearts, but below are the recipients of the 10 amethyst stones that I have to give away. Each of them have been supercharged with light and love from one of my mediation sessions  🙂

Joey Galon

You are a mirror
Reflecting all that you see
Shining light and love!

Joshua Rex Vanderhoof

To find a true friend
Do not search from sea to sea 
Create, friend, in thee

Erika C Lowenkopf

I was so lonely
You smiled and listened to me
Now I am renewed

Orean Keels, Jr.

Friends like raindrops joined,
coming together as one
great river of change.

Markus Counts

Friendship’s only fee
Love extended with no strings
Hearts bound eternal

Shannon Duncan

Swan on the stream swims;
Ever flows the harmony
One with the other.

Joe Wicker-Welch

Friendship is true love
Hearts and minds combine for life
Creating our world.

Taylor Michiels

Meeting can be fate
All thanks to life’s mysteries
Resulting in friends

Jason

Friendship is a gift
One that should often be used
And always returned.

Aya Nobleza

Time you want to spend
When you’re straight and when you’re bend,
Proud ! You have a Friend.

 

LET’S LOVE LIKE SARAH!

On Sunday July 26th, 2015 a new angel got her wings. Her name is Sarah Friend Amento and she taught us all how to love by example. Friend Movement co-founders Ronnie Kroell & Laughing Eddie Lobo presented her with the first annual “Thank You For Being A Friend” award in 2014 and this is what she had to say …

“Thank you guys, SO much. I met Ronnie before being diagnosed with cancer and I saw what the Friend Movement was doing. I have five children so I grabbed onto it. Ronnie is so amazing and the work that the Friend Movement is doing is saving lives. It’s inspiring others. I’m often told what an inspiration I am and I clearly tell people real quick that I’m not. It’s the love from others that inspired the greatness to fight this disease that I’m fighting. Everyone deserves love like that and friendship like that. The Friend Movement is taking the emphasis off the bullying and putting the emphasis on friends.

A lot of people believe that change can’t happen and I know change can and it can happen with each and every person in here by caring for others. By taking an active role in their lives. When I was told that I wasn’t going to live … When the doctor said with toxic levels of chemo, you will not survive this. I didn’t think about all the things that I’ve never done in life. I didn’t think about all the money I’ve never made and things like that. I thought about the legacy I was leaving behind and I thought about how many lives have I touched?

Each of us has an opportunity to touch and change lives and that’s what Friend Movement is doing, that’s what Ronnie is doing. This is literally life saving. It’s fun to mingle and everything, but this is saving lives. So I hope everyone continues to grab on to Friend Movement and save lives together.”

Sarah Friend Amento
http://www.friendmovement.com

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The Business of Friendship

FopMagRebel

THREE YEARS AGO many people looked at me like I was crazy when I wanted to start a business that focused on friendship. Today, the hard work and passion is yielding incredible results. Those that couldn’t understand the vision back then, are now finally seeing the power of a few dedicated people and their commitment to making a difference. A special thanks must be given to my business partner in friendship, Laughing Eddie Lobo (Co-Founder),  Garland Guidry (Blog Editor), and to our incredible #FriendFamily that have given of their valuable and limited time and financial resources to help us grow.

FRIEND MOVEMENT is a lifestyle brand that is, “Supporting and empowering people to accept and be their true selves.” We are shifting the conversation from “Anti-Bullying” to “Pro-Friendship” and have purposefully chosen to focus on the positive side of the challenges that our communities face each day at school, at work, and at home. Through ART, MEDIA, and EDUCATION we are sharing our message of friendship and openly discussing ways that we can show up in the world as better friends, to ourselves and to others that we meet. Since our emergence into the world in 2012, we have produced powerful photo-campaigns, published interviews with celebs, hosted incredible networking events, fed those in need, appeared on popular TV Shows to share our message, connected with people from around the world via social media, and so much more!

Friendship is universal. It transcends race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, ability, and any other label we have created to separate ourselves from one another. Human beings are naturally social creatures, we want to be connected and actually thrive on the connections we make. However, we tend to focus so much on how we are different, that sometimes we fail to see just how much we actually have in common. Our diversity is to be celebrated of course, but it is our human experience that bonds us no matter where we are in the world.

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Our #FriendFamily is growing stronger by the day because people are resonating with our simple yet profound call to action. We are a grass roots effort that is simply moving through the world with love, kindness, and compassion in hopes that others will be inspired to lend their unique voice. There is so much work to be done, but if we all do our small parts — BIG THINGS happen!

Many things are going on behind the scenes right now to create even more ways for everyone to get involved, but until those are launched the best ways to support are listed below:

1. Add FRIEND as your MIDDLE NAME on social media.

2. Make a $5 or more tax-deductible contribution to our #FriendlyMeal program that feeds the homeless in Los Angeles once a month. https://www.fracturedatlas.org/site/fiscal/profile?id=12263#giving_levels

3. “LIKE” and interact with us on social media. Consider sending 1-3 minute videos explaining, “Why FRIENDSHIP is important to you” via dropbox or attachments to info@friendmovement.com. We’d love to post your videos.

4. Are you a writer? We are looking for CONTENT CREATORS and BLOGGERS to join our #FriendFamily and share their unique friendship stories from around the globe.

5. Are you great at raising funds? We are looking for you to help us get our message out and acquire the much needed funds it takes to build and sustain programming.

6. Are you a business selling cool items that would be a good fit for our FM STORE? We want to discuss featuring your products.

7. Are you an artist that wants to be seen/heard and use your talent to make a difference? We want to hear from you and perhaps have you perform at one of our events and/or use your music for our videos.

8. Are you based in LA and great at managing talent? We are looking for you to help us with our MOTIVATIONAL SPEAKER PROGRAM and our new TALENT MANAGEMENT DIVISION.

9. Do you have time to volunteer? We always need volunteers to come out and help at community service and networking events. We are also in the middle of creating FM STREET TEAMS to go out into the community and perform, “RANDOM ACTS OF FRIENDLINESS“.

10. Tell us how we can support you in getting this important message of friendship out into your community! Friend Movement is YOUR MOVEMENT and together we can make a difference – – One friend at a time. 🙂

 

 

 

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Photo credit for Ronnie Kroell #RebelWithACause

Lidia Karpukova for Fop Magazine