Local Moms Use Social Media to Unite St. Cloud
ST. CLOUD -- A new social media campaign aims to build a stronger sense of community in the St. Cloud area.
This spring, tensions boiled over at Tech High School and the negativity shown by some in the area shocked Kelly Meyer.
"It was really a wake-up call to see the [negative] comments," says Meyer, a St. Cloud mother of two, in a Friday interview on WJON's News at Noon Show with Jim Maurice. "I've always known there was a dislike of our refugee and immigrant population but I didn't really realize how deep that anger and hatred was until I read those comments."
"To sit back and not do anything about it really felt like being part of the problem."
Meyer and Natalie Ringsmuth, a Waite Park mother of three, started #UniteCloud, an online campaign with a mission of "providing education and actionable steps to resolve tension and restore dignity to all people in the St. Cloud area."
"We really wanted to get some conversations going about all the different issues we see [in the area], and find a way to live together," Meyer says.
"We're not out to change anyone's core beliefs, but to find out ways in which we can still be good neighbors and work together for a sense of community."
The #UniteCloud website is active with weekly challenges that encourage their visitors to perform an act of kindness in their community.
"Some people say they know there's a problem but they have no idea what to do," Ringsmuth says. "So we [suggest] actionable steps, such as donating school supplies for children whose families can't afford them."
"That may seem like a little thing, but we change St. Cloud one family, one person, one student at a time."
#UniteCloud has not yet been totally embraced by the area, but Meyer and Ringsmuth say they're getting more positive momentum. Their Facebook page is nearing 700 "Likes" as of the time this story was posted. Additionally, the Central Minnesota Community Foundation is pitching in by offering grants to programs that will bring the community together.