When certain people tell me a cause is worth tackling, my ears perk up. For example, Shanda Hamilton from CASA, otherwise known as Court Appointed Special Advocates for Children. Hope Burns from the Buffalo Trace Children’s Advocacy Center. The Gang from Maysville Community and Technical College, of course. And Melissa Greenwell from the Buffalo Trace Women’s Crisis Center.
So when Melissa mentioned Green Dot, my response was, “How can I help?” Followed by “What is Green Dot?”
Put simply, Green Dot is a Bystander Intervention program that has swept school campuses across the nation (invented by a University of Kentucky Professor, naturally). And now the program is being expanded – by us.
Imagine, boys and girls. Maysville is working to become the first Green Dot community in the nation. Impressive, it will be. Daunting? not a bit. Beneficial to everyone who lives here? No doubt.
People who visit our slice of heaven notice several things. Our friendliness. Our compassion. Our generosity. And our genetic good looks. But I digress.
When it comes to helping others, Maysville bows to no one. Think of our community as the Avengers – a group of people with different abilities uniting to defeat a common foe. An enemy that is no stranger to any community.
Green Dot’s goal is to eradicate sexual assault, partner violence, bullying, stalking, and child abuse. Numbers show the initiative’s effectiveness. The CDC did a five-year study of twenty-six high schools across the Commonwealth. By implementing Green Dot, rates of violence perpetration were reduced by 17-21% campus-wide. Now Imagine the success rate when Green Dot is executed on a community scale.
Locally, our heroes are clearly defined. Maysville Chief of Police Ron Rice and his force of Officers. Maysville Fire Department Chief Kevin Doyle and his force of firefighters. Mason County Sheriff Patrick Boggs and his force of deputies. The Limestone Ministerial Association. Maysville Mayor David Cartmell and City Commissioners. Mason County Judge-Executive Joe Pfeffer and our Mason County Commissioners. I can go on and on. Talk about strength in numbers.
The premise is simple. Green Dot focuses on empowering bystanders to safely and confidently respond to moments of power-based personal violence, while simultaneously shifting what our community expects from us. Simply put, violence will not be tolerated, and everyone is expected to do their part.
Naturally, a project this ambitious needs some money to get off the ground. Fortunately, it’s not a lot. The Women’s Crisis Center has applied for A Community Thrives grant through the USA Today Network. To be considered, however, the Center must raise $6,000 by May 10.
To donate, please visit https://www.crowdrise.com/o/en/campaign/maysville-a-green-dot-city and give what you can. Your support brings us one step closer to being eligible for A Community Thrives grant and supports our efforts in violence prevention.
If you have any questions about Green Dot, just give Stacey Walden a call at 937-360-8459. A Bystander Prevention session is coming up Tuesday from 10 to 2:30 at the Mason County Health Department. Space is limited, so sign up now by going to http://greendotgcky.org/may8/.
The message behind Green Dot is “No one has to do everything. Everyone has to do something.” Now is your time to do something – join today in helping make Maysville the nation’s first Green Dot city.