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Buttons for Change - Fighting Bullying with AmeriCorps and Buttons

Buttons for Change

Buttons for Change is a charitable social outreach program from American Button Machines that allows us, by way of your generous donations, to help those amazing organizations that are doing their part to change the world, one button at a time!  One such organization that we have had the pleasure of working with is AmeriCorps and their anti-bullying campaign.

AmeriCorps recently held their City Year Chicago event where they used buttons as an integral part of spreading their message.  Deirdre McGovern shared their story.

"In October, First Year AmeriCorps members sent a lengthy email to American City Year ChicagoButton Machines seeking a donation to fund an idea.  The team is part of an educational non-profit called City Year.  City Year as a whole strives to close the achievement gap in schools across the United States and combat the associated dropout crisis.  Located in 29 cities, City Year works specifically within urban environments where need for resources is often critical.  Donations from companies like American Button Machine to City Year Chicago help Student Success Coaches execute enrichment campaigns.

These near-peer mentors work to address the ABC’s (attendance, behavior, and course performance): the specific areas that lead students to dropping out. Each City Year team also works to create a positive climate throughout the school so that both students and teachers are excited to come to school every day.

In the Humboldt Park neighborhood of North-Western Chicago, Roberto Clemente Community Academy rises proud above its neighboring buildings.  Originally commissioned as an office building, Clemente’s building contract was claimed by Chicago Public Schools upon its completion.  Now, the building—which spans two blocks—functions as the local high school for students from many neighborhoods including Humboldt Park, Wicker Park, and Logan Square.

City Year Chicago celebrates many opportunities to connect and challenge students, and this past October was no different.  Nationally, October is Anti-Bullying Month, which is a cause City Year was quick to take up.  Across the twenty-eight schools that City Year Chicago serves, individualized, social-emotional learning campaigns were launched to illuminate the prevalence and insidiousness of bullying. 

Anti-Bullying LogoThe Student Success Coaches at Clemente wanted students to have the opportunity to express their solidarity against bullying but faced a supplies shortage.  The campaign centered on connecting our students with resources and supports available to them within their school community. Many of our students are artistically-inclined, and so a major component of our campaign was an "Anti-Bullying Logo" competition. Students and staff submitted designs for buttons that could be worn on their backpacks.  The idea was to create visual markers of hope and compassion through the halls.  The one snag?  The freshmen art teacher had a button maker, but no blank buttons.  American Button Machines stepped in to supply the team with the supplies they needed to go forward with their campaign: 1000 1-inch buttons to serve the 780 students.  The hope garnered by American Button Machines’ kindness resounded in their response, “ABM would be happy to provide!” 

Due to their generous donation, the campaign itself was a success, with art teachers and students pairing up to create pins for the student body.  Today, the campaign echoes on in students’ continuing use of the buttons to celebrate identities and student support.  

One of the founding values of City Year is “Students First, Collaboration Always”.  This year’s Anti-Bullying Campaign would not have been as fruitful without American Button Machine’s collaboration.

The ABM family is no stranger to charitable donations, with their blog No Bullying Buttonshighlighting past successful campaigns such as Buttons for Change which donated button supplies to Compassion Without Borders. Thanks to American Button Machine’s generous donation, tiny markers of passions, identities, and kindness now dot the halls of Clemente.  Happy button making continues to this day."

We couldn't be prouder than to be a part of this phenomenal event and to support such a worthy cause that is near and dear to our hearts.  Keeping the youth of America in school, free from ridicule and bullying, is a cause we can surely all get behind!  Team ABM and all of our Buttons for Change recipients thank everyone who has donated to the program so we can help those who are helping others.

Do you want to keep up with all of the great happenings at ABM?  Join us in The Pinback Button Making Community where you can share ideas, learn tips and tricks from the best minds in the button business and make new friends!  We hope to see you there soon but until then, happy button making!

The Pinback Button Making Community

By Brighid Brown, Director of Blogging and All Things Cool at ABM 

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