Business owners encourage Blacksburg to Be Kind

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BLACKSBURG, Va. (WDBJ7) Business owners in Blacksburg noticed a nasty trend in town - bullying.

They're fighting back with kindness and paying it forward with tips to stay safe at work.

Blacksburg Boxing offered a free class Friday afternoon for anyone in town who needs self defense training.

It's the one-two punch Blacksburg business owner Heather Leeper said the business community needs.

"We are here to spread kindness and avoid bullying and just promote happiness and support within our community," Leeper said.

She joined forces with other business owners who felt something had to be done.

"After experiencing some things, we've noticed let's just remind each other that we're here to build each other up. We're not here to cut each other down," Leeper said.

Rather than jumping on the bully bandwagon the business owners took the high road. As a result, Be Kind Blacksburg began.

Since Monday business leaders have held panel discussions on bullying with teachers and administrators, read empowering stories to elementary school students, taught cyber security to parents, and learned how to combat bullying in the workplace.

This week organizers handed out two stickers to people that read, Be Kind Blacksburg, one to wear and to encourage others to be kind, and one to pass on to someone else. It's meant to pay it forward and pass on the kindness.

Be Kind Week doesn't end Friday. Organizers want to continue spreading kindness so negativity doesn't have a voice here.

"If you can recognized and acknowledge the existence and good in somebody else that helps them feel better and they're going to then pay it forward," Leeper said.